Today, another 1,100 people will die from malaria. The number will be repeated tomorrow, and the day after.
As a public health researcher, I embrace the idea that all lives have equal value. That our goal is much more to delay death than to stop death, as the latter is inevitable. Therefore as we mark this year’s World Malaria Day, we must emphasise the need for stronger health systems and sustained investments to tackle malaria more aggressively.
This message needs to be conveyed even more urgently than usual amid the coronavirus pandemic. Given the situation in Europe, China and the US, it is clear that COVID-19 significantly disrupts health systems and economic growth. There is genuine fear that if it continues spreading in Africa, the impact may be worse given the continent’s weaker health systems. One of the greatest concerns is the likely shift of attention and resources from control programmes of other infections, such as malaria.
Since 2000, Africa has benefited from some of the greatest efforts against malaria. This included a global coalition that has delivered more than 2 billion insecticide-treated nets to countries where malaria is endemic.
Source: The Conversation