A recent article in the Cape Times address the consequences of global climate change on malaria in South Africa. The SA government is employing scenario planning to consider alternative outcomes. Snippets:
Climate change could mean malaria would spread to regions like Gauteng and increase the number of South Africans at high risk by four, Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said yesterday.
Speaking at a media briefing at Kirstenbosch on the release of a climate change report by the SA National Biodiversity Institute, Van Schalkwyk said that by 2020, the increased number of people at risk from malaria could cost the country between 0.1% and 0.2% of GDP.
Because of the higher temperatures, malaria mosquitoes would be likely to spread to Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and even Gauteng by 2050.
Van Schalkwyk said until recently, the issue of climate change had been the realm of "only a few mad scientists".
"It is a mainstream issue now. More people understand it is becoming a reality. Quite dramatic climate changes will be taking place in the next 10 to 15 years," he said.
Van Schalkwyk said the cabinet had been briefed on climate change and had approved a "process of scenario-planning" to examine the different international models being proposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.