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Diseases potentially acquired by travel to Southern Africa

David Murdoch, MD, MSc, DTM&H, FRACP, FRCPA, FFSc(RCPA)
Section Editor
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Southern Africa is comprised of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, St. Helena, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. This region encompasses deserts to fertile plateaus and plains.


Malaria — Malaria is a risk in some areas of Southern Africa. In malarious areas, Plasmodium falciparum is the predominant cause of malaria, and chloroquine resistance is widespread. Country-specific risk areas are listed below [1]:

Botswana – Risk exists from November to May/June in the northern parts of the country: Bobirwa, Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango, and Tutume districts/sub-districts.

Lesotho – No risk.

Namibia – Risk exists from November to June in Ohangwena, Omaheke, Oshana, Oshikoto, and Otjozondjupa. Risk exists throughout the year along the Kunene River in Kunene region, Zambezi River in Zambezi region, and Okavango River in Kavango regions (west and east).

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 06, 2017.
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