COVID-19 could lead to over 1m deaths from other diseases ─Experts

*Global efforts at curbing COVID-19 have slowed progress in controlling HIV, TB, Malaria, others

*Coronavirus disrupts planned distribution of insecticide-treated nets in Sub-Saharan Africa countries in 2020

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Current efforts at ending the threat of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic could result in one million additional deaths from other diseases, International AIDS Society’s soon-to-be-published report has revealed.

As researchers devote their time to stopping COVID-19 as of now, the organisation says efforts at responding to HIV, TB, and other diseases worldwide have come to a halt.

Dr. Anton Pozniak, President of International AIDS Society, said: “The social distancing efforts and lockdowns to control the spread of it (Coronavirus), have disrupted HIV prevention and treatment programmes and put vital HIV research on hold,” according to CNN.

In analysing the level of disruption to progress being made in managing other diseases, a projection by the Stop TB partnership released June 2020 estimated that a two-month lockdown followed by a two-month recovery could lead to more than 1.8 million extra cases of TB across the globe.

Likewise, researchers from the Imperial College, London, in the United Kingdom (UK), say malaria deaths are also likely to go up, reaching more than 760,000 deaths this year, which is said to be as twice as there were in 2019.

The researchers further stated that “much of the gain made in malaria control over the last decade has been due to the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, which many Sub-Saharan Africa countries planned to distribute in 2020.

“However, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely disrupt these distributions, as well as other core health services, resulting in more malaria cases and deaths.”

Efforts to control HIV/AIDS have also been overturned.

It was learnt that over the next two years, sub-Saharan Africa could see 500,000 additional deaths from AIDS and related diseases due to the six-month interruption in health services and treatment medications that occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic, United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organisation (WHO) released models have shown.

Models like these are just estimates based on certain assumptions, meaning what actually happens could end up being better or worse, said Pozniak.

International AIDS Society President stated: “It could be worse than they say and that would be disastrous. But we hope that the efforts organisations are putting in place will mitigate any loss.”

Kindly Share This Story