COVID-19 Pandemic Led to 63,000 Additional Malaria Deaths
A World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that disruptions from COVID-19 led to 63,000 malaria deaths that would not have occurred otherwise. In 2021 alone more than 247 million people developed malaria infections and 619,000 people died as a result. Governments and health workers were struggling in the fight against malaria before the first COVID-19 wave struck. The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated existing challenges, such as mosquito net distribution problems, limited treatment and prevention options, and an overall funding deficit. Global health experts say innovative new strategies have the potential to turn the tide against malaria. However, considering the massive scale of the epidemic, the 3.5 billion spent on the disease was less than half the amount needed to make a difference. The first malaria vaccine is expected to become available in 2023. It is only 30% effective but could play a significant role in lessening the number of severe infections and fatalities if enough children receive it. To date more than 20 countries have applied to procure the vaccines.
Full Story: Associated Press