Malaria Threatens 100,000 People In Botswana

News and Press Release
Originally published
Wene Owino, PANA Correspondent
GABORONE, Botswana (PANA) - Besides the infra- structural damage caused by the floods in Botswana, the country's top leadership is deeply concerned that the public health delivery system has been adversely affected by the disaster.

While addressing the ruling Botswana Democratic Party over the weekend, President Festus Mogae asserted that his government's top priority was no longer the provision of shelter to flood victims but making sure that the public health delivery system was working efficiently.

But alongside this, the ministry of health has also given notice that Botswana must now prepare to combat malaria, a killer disease that had never troubled the country before.

Last week, Health Minister Joy Phumaphi said that at least 100,000 people in the country are likely to be infected by malaria in the coming months.

Already, the killer disease has claimed six people in the country. Currently, there are about 1,500 patients suffering from malaria in the country while an additional 13,000 people have begun showing symptoms of the deadly disease.

Speaking in parliament, Phumaphi said that Botswana has been hit by malaria because of the torrential rains and the resultant flooding that hit the country in February.

She added that by Botswana standards the figures showed that the spread of the disease was serious and widespread.

However, she added that the country was well- prepared to handle the situation which she termed as severe.

Phumaphi said that the country's medical stores have reported adequate stocks of anti-malaria drugs while the government has also embarked on preventive measures such as spraying households in the affected areas and distributing impregnated bed-nets.

The anti-malaria contingency plan includes additional manpower to support the already existing staff.

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