27-04-2020 by redazione
We cannot yet know with certainty what the future of the spread and the victims of the Covid-19 virus will be in Sub-Saharan Africa, a pandemic which, fortunately, for the time being does not yet present numbers and evidence of victims and inpatients.
But a World Health Organization study predicts that due to the Coronavirus emergency, deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa could almost double from about 400,000 in 2018 to 770,000 in 2020.
This projection, which is described as very credible, could present the worst-case scenario of the last 20 years in Africa, and double the deaths recorded in 2018, as confirmed by a WHO statement.
The WHO projection assumes that efforts to contain Covid-19 are already leading to serious disruptions in the delivery of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and access to antimalarial drugs.
WHO urges countries to move quickly and distribute malaria prevention and treatment tools at this stage of the Covid-19 outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa," the statement continues, "and do their best to keep these essential services for malaria control safe.
The experts' analysis considers nine scenarios for potential interruptions in access to malaria control tools during the pandemic in East African countries, and the resulting increases that can be seen in cases and deaths.
The worst case scenario is a suspension of all insecticide treatment network (ITN) campaigns and a 75% reduction in access to effective antimalarial drugs.
The Ministry of Health of Kenya said that the country will not give in to antimalarial campaigns, which would save the country from this scenario.
"Recent results in increasing the scale of interventions have enabled 83% of households in the counties most affected by malaria to have at least one network treated with long-term insecticides," Dr. Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, said in a statement.
According to the Department of Health, about 20,000 Kenyan children are affected by malaria every year.
According to the World Malaria Report 2019, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for about 93% of all malaria cases and 94% of deaths in 2018. More than two thirds of deaths occurred among children under the age of five.
To date, the number of reported cases of Covid-19 in sub-Saharan Africa has represented only a small part of the global total, although cases are increasing every week.
This means that countries across the region would have the opportunity to continue their efforts to minimize interruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the Covid-19 outbreak.
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