Coronavirus pandemic resulted in alarming increase in malaria deaths: WHO

WION Web Team
Geneva, Switzerland Published: Dec 06, 2021, 08:57 PM(IST)

Malaria jab Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

As per the data, cases increased alarmingly in 11 countries that have been vulnerable to malaria in the past few years. Number of infections increased from 150 million in 2015 to 163 million in 2020, and the deaths rose to 444,600 from 39,000

Coronavirus pandemic has ruined several lives and caused some major disruptions around the world. Following the same scare, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that tens of thousands of additional malaria-related deaths were reported in 2020 due to pandemic disruptions.

The UN health agency has claimed that there were nearly 241 million malaria cases around the world in the first year of the pandemic. As per the data, 2020 saw an increase of 14 million malaria cases in comparison to 2019.

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In addition to this, 627,000 malaria-related deaths were reported in 2020, which was an alarming increase from 69,000 in 2019.

The shocking thing in this revelation is that out of these additional deaths, nearly two thirds were caused due to the coronavirus pandemic. Experts believe that that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as per WHO.

As per the data, cases increased alarmingly in 11 countries that have been vulnerable to malaria in the past few years. Number of infections increased from 150 million in 2015 to 163 million in 2020, and the deaths rose to 444,600 from 39,000.

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"I think we are on the verge of a potential malaria crisis," Dr Pedro Alonso, head of WHO's Global Malaria Programme

However, experts also stressed that the urgent action plan followed by respondents had helped avert a situation which could have been way worse than the present situation.

"Thanks to the hard work of public health agencies in malaria-affected countries, the worst projections of Covid's impact have not come to pass," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. "Now, we need to harness that same energy and commitment to reverse the setbacks caused by the pandemic and step up the pace of progress against this disease."

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