WHO GA: the ravages of malaria

(Agence Ecofin) – The 74th General Assembly of the World Health Organization was an opportunity to raise the issue of malaria, a disease endemic in Africa, and for which a resolution has been taken. “With the resolution adopted today, the aim is to re-energize efforts to end malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that still causes more than 400,000 deaths each year, mostly in elderly children. under five living in sub-Saharan Africa. “, indicates a report from the institution on the GA.

The resolution calls for increased investment against the tropical disease which, according to the WHO, claims 94% of its victims in sub-Saharan Africa: “Member States are urged to move faster in the fight against malaria through plans and approaches consistent with the updated Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and guidelines for malaria control 2016-2030. WHO malaria control. “.

This international debate comes as voices have been raised to underline a strong concentration of the UN organization on Covid-19, while Africa’s diseases continue to rage without receiving support. The excuse found for the pandemic is that it is deadlier and more dangerous.

Indeed, according to official data, the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa had higher mortality than malaria, 2.7% for the pandemic, against 0.17% for malaria (according to figures estimated by the WHO in 2019). However, in absolute terms, the parasitic disease will have had a much greater impact on the continent. Thus, in 2019, the WHO estimated 384,000 deaths due to malaria (out of a total of 215 million cases), against “only” 130,000 due to Covid-19, in more than a year of pandemic.

Beyond malaria, the WHO General Assembly was above all an opportunity to discuss the overhaul of the UN institution, in particular to make it more responsive in the prevention and management of future pandemics. This direction was supported among others by several African countries participating in the meeting, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, and Tunisia, which supported the project of an agreement, or another international instrument. WHO, to prepare for a better response to pandemics.

Ayi Renaud Dossavi


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