Pretoria, April 25 (IANS) South Africa commemorated World Malaria Day on Monday, pledging to eliminate the disease by 2018.
The country is set to raise awareness about malaria prevention and to focus on the achievements, progress and challenges in the fight against malaria, the health department said.
It has embarked on awareness and educational campaigns that include radio campaigns, community events, door-to-door campaigns and distribution of pamphlets at shopping centres before and during World Malaria day, Xinhua news agency reported.
South Africa plans to eliminate malaria by achieving an incidence of zero cases of locally transmitted malaria by 2018.
South Africa registered 11,700 cases of the disease in 2014, down from 64,000 in 2000 with most cases coming from areas bordering Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
In a report marking World Malaria Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that through targeted action and cross-border collaboration, South Africa has the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020.
WHO estimates that 21 countries are in a position to achieve this goal, including six countries in the African region, where the burden of the disease is the heaviest.
These countries are Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa and Swaziland.