KwaZulu-Natal, one of South Africa’s three malaria endemic provinces, is nearing malaria elimination, reporting fewer than 100 locally-acquired cases annually since 2010. Despite sustained implementation of essential interventions, including annual indoor residual spraying, prompt case detection using malaria rapid diagnostics tests and treatment with effective artemisinin-based combination therapy, low-level focal transmission persists in the province. This malaria prevalence and entomological survey was therefore undertaken to identify the drivers of this residual transmission.
Although malaria remains a noteworthy disease in South Africa, the provinces are at differing stages of the malaria elimination continuum. KwaZulu-Natal has consistently reported the lowest number of cases over the past 5 years and it is expected that the goal of elimination will be achieved in this province over the next few years. The study reports on few key indicators that realistically represents the provinces progress over the past decade. Local and imported morbidity and mortality is seen as the key indicator as is malaria in children under the age of five and pregnant women. The only vector control intervention in the province is indoor residual spraying (IRS) and this gives an estimate of the population protected by this intervention.