The World Health Organization has warned that the new coronavirus pandemic could severely disrupt access to anti-malaria nets and drugs in sub-Saharan Africa.
The organization warned that this could double malaria deaths, if efforts are not urgently scaled up.
It, therefore, urged countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 95 percent of all the world’s malaria cases and deaths occur, to rapidly distribute malaria prevention and treatment tools now, before they become too overwhelmed with novel coronavirus cases.
“Severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018,” the WHO warned, citing new modelling analysis.
“This means that countries across the region have a critical window of opportunity to minimise disruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak,” it said.
“Mass vector control campaigns should be accelerated, ensuring protection for both health workers and communities against COVID-19 transmission,” it said.