Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

Botswana

Botswana achieved about a 99% decrease in reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2015 and aims to eliminate malaria by 2018.

Botswana lies along the southern endemic margin of transmission in sub-Saharan Africa and has reported a substantial decline in malaria over the last decade and a half. The country reported 71,555 malaria cases in 2000 and just 292 cases of local transmission in 2015. All malaria cases in Botswana are due to Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria transmission is unstable and largely occurs during Botswana’s rainy season, between October and May, with peaks from February to mid-April. Intensity of transmission fluctuates with the country’s varying rainfall each year, resulting in sporadic malaria epidemics. Transmission is highest in the northern districts of Chobe, Ngami, and Okavango, all of which neighbor the highly endemic Zambezi region and account for more than 85% of the country’s malaria cases. North central districts experience focal transmission and are at high risk for outbreaks after heavy rains; the southern part of Botswana is considered non-endemic and at low risk for sporadic cases.

Starting in 2009, Botswana began reorienting its programmatic focus from control to elimination by enhancing its surveillance systems, improving case management, and increasing community engagement on malaria. Botswana is a member of the Elimination Eight (E8). With improvements to the country’s surveillance system and enhanced cross-border coordination with higher endemic neighbors Zambia and Zimbabwe, Botswana is close to achieving malaria elimination by 2018.

292 # of cases (2015)
2018
Elimination goal
Upper middle
Income level
Reported cases
Reported cases
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)

Challenges to elimination