- Mortality from malaria due to disarray throughout the coronavirus pandemic to services intended to deal with the mosquito-borne disease will considerably surpass those who died of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization apprised on Monday.
THD NewsDesk, New Delhi– Mortality from malaria due to disarray throughout the coronavirus pandemic to services intended to deal with the mosquito-borne disease will considerably surpass those who died of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization apprised on Monday.
More than 409,000 individuals globally – most of them infants in the most impoverished sections of Africa – submitted to malaria last year, the WHO stated in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will most unquestionably make that toll more soaring 2020.
“We estimate that depending on the level of service disruption (due to COVID-19) … there could be an excess of malaria deaths of somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them in young children,” Pedro Alsonso, director of the WHO’s malaria program, told reporters.
“It’s very likely that excess malaria mortality is larger than the direct COVID mortality.”
The WHO report found 229 million malaria cases globally in 2019. It stated that notwithstanding the unique hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic, several nations throughout the world had battled hard and held the line fronting the disease.
But “long-term success in reaching a malaria-free world within a generation is far from assured,” it said. Some of the African countries worst hit by malaria have grappled to make notable growth since 2016.
Due to the continuous transmission of malaria via mosquitoes in multiple sectors of the world, half the global population is at risk of catching the disease – and it still kills a child every two minutes. Despite this, the focus of worldwide funding has been redirected, making preventable child mortality more likely.
Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, said the WHO report’s findings were “extremely timely.”
“The global health world, the media, and politics, are all transfixed by COVID,…and yet we pay very little attention to a disease that is still killing over 400,000 people every year, mainly children,” he told reporters at the briefing.
“And to remind you, this is a disease we do know how to get rid of – so it is a choice that we don’t.”