Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that infects a certain type of mosquito. You may contract malaria if bitten by an infected mosquito.
Malaria is endemic in some areas of South Africa, namely north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. September to May is considered the malaria season.
Some of the precautionary measures you can take to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:
Children should be vaccinated to protect them from certain dangerous infectious diseases. Individuals who are not immunised, increase the risk that they and others in their community will get the diseases vaccines can prevent. Children should be vaccinated at birth, 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 9 months, 18 months, 6 years and at 12 years old (Child immunisation schedule [PDF]).
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is caused when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. The alcohol poisons the unborn baby and it may damage any of the unborn baby's organs, although the brain and the nervous system are the most vulnerable. Babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy are therefore at risk of permanent brain damage.
FAS cannot be cured, but it can be prevented by abstaining from alcohol when you are pregnant.
More information are available at:
National Health Insurance (NHI) is a way of providing good healthcare for all by sharing the money available for healthcare among all our people. The health benefits that you receive will depend on how sick you are, not on how wealthy you are. Hospitals, clinics, doctors, specialists, dentists, nurses and all other health workers will also be available much more equally.
TB is an infectious but curable disease that is caused by a germ that attacks and damages the lungs. It can be easily passed to others through coughing or sneezing. TB usually infects the lungs, but can also infect other parts of the body such as the brain, heart, kidneys, abdomen, larynx, bones, lymph nodes and spine.
You can get free testing at your nearest clinic. Testing for adults is done by taking two sputum samples and the results are normally available after two to three days.
The three leading causes of natural deaths in 2015 were tuberculosis, diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases (a variety of medical conditions that affect the blood vessels of the brain and most commonly present as a stroke).
You can find the latest figures in Statistics South Africa's reports on mortality and causes of death in South Africa.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by a bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The bacteria is found in soil and water and some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats.
Listeria is unlike many other germs as it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator. Listeria is killed by cooking and pasteurisation.
A non-communicable disease, or NCD, is a medical condition or disease which by definition is non-infectious and cannot be passed from person to person. NCDs may be chronic diseases of long duration and slow progression, or they may result in more rapid death such a sudden stroke.
Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are used in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. They fight HIV by stopping or interfering with the reproduction of the virus in the body.
Find out more about the use of ARVs from Brothers for life.
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, which can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. HIV destroys blood cells called CD4+ T cells which help your body fight diseases. This means that HIV compromises your immune system and stops your body from fighting diseases.