Date: 19 October 2017 By: Andries van Zyl
As of late September 2017, the management of the Kruger National Park (KNP) have noticed an increase in the number of malaria diagnoses in the park and have therefore advise all travellers to cover themselves by taking chemoprophylaxis whilst visiting the park.
“We would like to advise visitors to the park to take precautionary measures to prevent the possibility of developing malaria whilst visiting the park. Precautions which include the use of prophylaxes, vaccinations in consultation with doctors and to avoid exposing the skin whilst outside in the evenings can assist a great deal in this regard. KNP is known to be one of the malaria-endemic areas in this country and therefore chances of catching malaria disease always exist in this area, though not often,” said Mr William Mabasa, general manager of the KNP’s communications and marketing department in a press release issued last week.
To reduce the risk of malaria whilst staying in the park, visitors are further advised to use repellents on the skin, wear long-sleeve clothes if they happen to go outside of their units, keep the window gauzes and doors closed at all times and check that these are not broken, as well as to ensure that air conditioners in the chalets are fully functional.
“Although malaria can be contracted at any time of the year, the malaria season in this country is October to April, with March and April being the highest risk period. We request visitors who contract malaria after having visited the park to assist us by immediately reporting to our local doctors in Skukuza as this can assist in recording and identifying all the affected areas in need of attention,” said Mabasa.
Some resident medical doctors are permanently based in Skukuza, KNP’s main camp, and the public can consult them for information and advice prior to their visit to the park on Tel +27 13 735 5638. More information on malaria can also be found on the website link https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/malaria.php.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.