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WHO Urges African Countries To Scale Up Malaria Prevention Tools Or Face Doubling Deaths From The Illness Amid COVID-19

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The World Health Organisation WHO has advised sub-Saharan African countries to scale up its provision of malaria prevention and treatments tools or risk having deaths, resulting from the illness, doubling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nation health agency hinted on Thursday that the African countries need to rapidly provide and distribute such materials before they become too overwhelmed with the novel COVID-19 cases.

Citing new modelling analysis, WHO warned: “Severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018.”

The health agency also stressed that so far, sub-Saharan African countries had reported relatively few cases in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 180,000 people globally and infected more than 2.6 million.

But the agency, which has long warned that weak health systems in the region risked becoming seriously overwhelmed as cases increase, said the disease was picking up pace there.

“This means that countries across the region have a critical window of opportunity to minimise disruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak,” it said.

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