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WHO Warns That Malaria Deaths In Africa Could Double In 2020

The number of malaria deaths in Africa could double up to 769,000 this year, as efforts to control the disease is been disrupted by the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday.

Africa has recorded more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 1,200 deaths, and governments of each country is working with partners such as the WHO are all focusing on tackling the pandemic.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has called on all countries to ensure that the essential malaria prevention measures continues.
she said in a briefing that:
“A recent analysis has found that if insecticide-treated bed net distribution stops, and case management reduces, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could double in comparison to 2018.”
“This would be the highest number of deaths seen in the region since the year 2000.”
She pointed out statistics from Africa’s Ebola outbreak which showed that more people had died of other diseases, including malaria, than from Ebola itself, due to the lack of access to treatment.
“Let us not repeat that again with COVID-19.”
she said.
In 2018, 213 million malaria cases and 360,000 related deaths were recorded in African, accounting for over 90 per cent of the global cases.

WHO warns that if African countries focus on only slowing the spread of coronavirus which has led to the reduction in access to anti-malaria medicine the recorded death could double up to 769,000.

WHO said in a statement:

“Countries across the region have a critical window of opportunity to minimize disruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak.” 

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