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Pandemic left 13 million cases and 63,000 additional deaths from malaria: WHO

Pandemic left 13 million cases and 63,000 additional deaths from malaria: WHO

ap and sputnik

Newspaper La Jornada
Friday December 9, 2022, p. 18

Geneva. The covid-19 pandemic interrupted efforts to control malaria, resulting in 63,000 deaths and 13 million additional infections worldwide over two years, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday.

Cases of the parasitic disease skyrocketed in 2020 and continued to rise the following year, albeit at a slower pace, he said. About 95 percent of the 247 million malaria infections and 619,000 deaths last year occurred in Africa.

We were far from targets before the pandemic, and now it has made things worsesaid Abdisalan Noor, a leading member of the WHO department against this disease.

Alister Craig, dean of biology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, noted that progress in reducing deaths had stalled even before the pandemic. It is almost as if we have reached a limit of effectiveness of the tools we have now.he stressed.

Noor said he expected the broader rollout of the first licensed vaccine, scheduled for next year, to have a considerable impact by reducing the number of deaths and serious illnesses if enough children were immunized, adding that more than 20 countries have asked vaccine alliance Gavi for help in procuring doses. Biologics are only 30 percent effective and require four doses.

David Schellenberg, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said there are promising new tools and strategies against malaria, but the underlying problem is the level of financing.

The WHO estimated that the total investment in the fight against malaria (some 3.5 billion dollars) was less than half of what is needed to drastically reduce the impact of the disease.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreye-sus stated that With the response strengthened, and thanks to having understood and mitigated the risks, built resilience and accelerated research, we have every reason to dream of a malaria-free future..

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