Out with COVID, in with malaria? The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has republished a recent warning about how the latter disease is experiencing something of a ‘rebound’ at the moment.
Malaria risk is highest in THESE countries
Jaishree Raman, Principal Medical Scientist and Head of Laboratory for Antimalarial Resistance Monitoring and Malaria Operational Research at the NICD, sounded the alarm last month. She believes that ‘half of the world’s population’ is now at risk from the long-existing illness – with six countries listed as the most vulnerable.
“The WHO warns that without immediate decisive action, all the impressive gains made against malaria since 2000 will be eroded. This will allow malaria to rebound and expose at least half of the world’s population to an increased risk of malaria, and there must now be improved access to essential health services.”
“This is especially important for populations most at risk. Of particular concern are people in sub-Saharan Africa. In this region, six countries – Nigeria, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Mozambique and Burkina Faso – accounted for over 50% of all malaria cases and deaths reported in 2020.”
NICD warns of ‘malaria rebound’
This message has been shared with the public once more on Tuesday, after a malaria outbreak was reported in parts of South Africa. KZN, Mpumalanga and Limpopo have been identified as the high-risk areas.
— NICD (@nicd_sa) January 25, 2022
There is, however, some positive news to report
Some malaria-carrying parasites have since become immune to treatments, meaning that efforts to prevent the spread are being hampered by this biological evolution. However, there is some light at the end of this particular tunnel…
“It’s not all doom and gloom. Earlier this year the WHO approved the roll-out of the first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, in highly burdened African countries. This vaccine has the potential to significantly improve outcomes in young African children. There are also new insecticides which could help sustain the efficacy of nets and spraying.”