Be Smart About South Africa

The Coronavirus Pandemic has Derailed the Global Campaign against Malaria

Adult mosquitoes are seen in an egg production cage in the laboratory at the Oxitec Ltd. facility in Campinas, Brazil, on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Shares of billionaire Randal Kirk's biotech firm, Intrexon Corp., the parent company of Oxitec, have surged as investors seem to think their genetically modified mosquitoes will be more effective in fighting the spread of the Zika virus than an alternative technology offered by the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. Photographer: Paulo Fridman/Bloomberg

Officials cite increasing deaths from the mosquito-borne disease for the first time in three years. The number of malaria cases and deaths in 2020 were at least 40% higher than the World Health Organization’s targets, according to the agency, which said its 2030 goals are now at risk. “While African countries rallied to the challenge and averted the worst predictions of fallout from Covid-19, the pandemic’s knock-on effect still translates to thousands of lives lost to malaria,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in a statement. “African governments and their partners need to intensify their efforts so that we do not lose even more ground to this preventable disease,” Moeti said. It is a blow for Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 95% of the world’s malaria cases. The disease kills about 400,000 people a year, most of them children under the age of five.SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

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