EHS-COVID (501) COVID contributed to 69,000 malaria deaths WHO finds, though ‘doomsday scenario’ averted (2)

7 December, 2021

Thank you Richard, Below are extracts from the new WHO report and a comment from me.

WHO Secretary-General Dr Tedros writes:

'There were an estimated 14 million more malaria cases and 47 000 more deaths in 2020 compared to 2019, due to disruptions to services during the pandemic. However, things could have been far worse if not for the efforts of malaria endemic countries to maintain services... critical 2020 milestones of WHO’s global malaria strategy have been missed, and without immediate and dramatic action, the 2030 targets will not be met...'

From the report summary:

'With support from global, regional and national partners, countries have mounted an impressive response to adapt and implement WHO guidance to maintain essential malaria services during the pandemic.'

COMMENT (NPW): The initial impression is that there has been a large increase in malaria cases and deaths, but that WHO's worst-case scenario (a doubling of malaria deaths) has been averted thanks to a robust public response. However, our discussions on HIFA suggest that disruptions to essential health services in sub-Saharan Africa have been disproportionate to the relatively small caseloads of COVID-19 in Africa, as compared with Europe and the Americas. In addition to reviewing what did happen, it would be important to assess what *might* have happened to malaria services (and all other essential services) if African countries had been hit by COVID-19 as hard as Europe and the Americas.

Read the full report:

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,