The Covid-19 pandemic and reductions in access to effective antimalarial treatment caused by it could result in up to 100,000 additional deaths from malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many countries have reported moderate levels of disruption, the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2020 said.
Modeling analysis showed that reductions in access to effective antimalarial treatment of 10% could lead to an additional 19,000 deaths in the region. A 50% reduction could lead to 100,000 additional deaths by the end of 2020 — even if all prevention campaigns are completed.
Malaria prevention campaigns involve long-lasting insecticidal nets, indoor residual spraying and seasonal malaria chemoprevention.
“While Africa has shown the world what can be achieved if we stand together to end malaria as a public health threat, progress has stalled,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said in a news release Monday. “COVID-19 threatens to further derail our efforts to overcome malaria, particularly treating people with the disease.”
There were an estimated 229 million malaria cases and 409,000 related deaths in 2019.