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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574


LAMOLA, M T et al. The prevalence of malaria in the five districts of Limpopo Province, South Africa, 2015 - 2017. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2024, vol.114, n.5, pp.48-55. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND. In South Africa (SA), malaria is endemic in three of nine provinces - KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. During 2010 - 2014, SA reported that ~47.6% of all malaria cases were imported. Contemporary estimates for the prevalence of malaria in the five districts of Limpopo Province are limited, with unknown proportions of imported malaria cases. We estimated the prevalence of malaria, and the proportion of imported malaria cases in the five districts of Limpopo, from January 2015 to December 2017. OBJECTIVE. To measure the prevalence of malaria in Limpopo Province, the proportion of malaria cases that are imported and to determine factors associated with malaria from January 2015 to December 2017. METHODS. We retrospectively reviewed data routinely collected through the Malaria Information System and Laboratory Information System of the National Health Laboratory Services, and assessed associations with age, sex and district, using a multivariable logistic regression model. RESULTS. From 2015 to 2017, a total of 43 199 malaria cases were reported, of which 3.5% (n=1 532) were imported. The prevalence of malaria in Limpopo Province was the highest in 2017, at 331.0 per 100 000 population. The highest malaria prevalence district was Vhembe, with 647.9 in 2015, 220.3 in 2016 and 659.4 in 2017 per 100 000 population. However, Waterberg had the highest proportion of imported malaria cases 28.5% (437/1 532). In adjusted analyses, ages 15 - 49 years (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48 - 1.68, p<0.001) and <1 year (aOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.37 - 0.74, p<0.001) were at higher odds of having malaria compared with ages >65 years. CONCLUSION. These findings highlight the significant burden of imported malaria in Limpopo Province. There is a need for strengthened surveillance and control programmes in neighboring countries (such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana) to reduce the importation and spread of malaria in this region.

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