South Africa News

Working Together Towards Malaria Elimination

Close to 100 participants representing countries and areas who are part of WHO’s Elimination-2025 initiative, WHO staff from the Headquarters, Regional Officers, and Country Offices, members of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Malaria Elimination and Certification, as well as observers came together in Cape Town, South Africa during the 4th Annual Global Forum of Malaria-Eliminating Countries.

South Africa bolsters its COVID-19 response

South Africa has grappled with the continent’s largest share of COVID-19 infections since the onset of the pandemic. Throughout the crisis, the country ramped up pandemic control measures to effectively curb cases and deaths and protect people’s health. In support of South Africa’s efforts, WHO deployed a 35-member expert team to help bolster the response at provincial and district levels.

Decentralized response boosts Free State Province's COVID-19 fight

Officials in the Department of Health in Free State Province in South Africa beam with pride when talking about their response to COVID-19. Leadership, innovation, and partnerships, they say, have been key to effectively tackling the pandemic and placed the province among those with the highest vaccination coverage in the country.

Why genomic sequencing is crucial in COVID-19 response

In December 2020, South Africa detected the Beta variant and in May 2021 the Delta variant, thanks to robust genomic surveillance. Professor Tulio De Oliveira, a renowned bioinformatician who identified the Beta variant, explains the criticality of genomic sequencing. Professor De Oliveira is the Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) based in South Africa.

The UN family in South Africa will continue to support the Country towards achieving...

TB is still one of the top infectious killers in the world, with 1.4 million people having died from TB in 2019. Meanwhile, Drug-resistant TB remains a public health crisis which is estimated to affect 77,000 Africans each year. The African region accounts for 25% of the global TB burden, with more than 500,000 African lives lost to this disease every year. Of these deaths, 58 000 were in South Africa. In South Africa HIV and TB remain colliding epidemics with 62% of TB deaths being among people living with HIV. In 2019 there were 360 000 new TB infections, 58% of them were in people living with HIV. On the other hand, TB was the cause of death for half of all HIV-related death (36 000 out of 72 000) in 2019. This underscores the importance of integrated TB and HIV interventions and services. Presenting a message of support on behalf of the UN family in South Africa at this year’s National World TB Day (WTBD) commemoration, the WHO Representative in South Africa, Dr Owen Kaluwa, called on the government and other stakeholders to bridge the financial gap for the TB response and to accelerate efforts towards achieving the targets and commitments to End TB, for the benefit of the South African population and her future generations.