As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve it is essential to mitigate risk of increased incidence of other infectious diseases. In malaria-endemic regions, it will be important to understand the potential impact to epidemiological changes, trends in transmission, and clinical presentation of COVID-19 and malaria individually, and as co-infections.
With the high-burden of illness caused by COVID-19, health systems disruption is probable, which may significantly impact malaria mortality rates and minimize the progress made in malaria control. Ensuring continuity of the core malaria services can help ease the burden on health systems from malaria to improve capacity in a country’s pandemic response, as well as mitigate risk for increased malaria transmission. Moreover, increased understanding of the epidemiological interaction between malaria and COVID-19 is needed to aid in public health decision-making for implementation of interventions, control spread, and minimize morbidity and mortality.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and funding partners have realized the increased need for funding opportunities to strengthen health systems and respond to the impending spread of COVID-19 in malaria-endemic settings. Key research questions related to clinical epidemiology and surveillance of COVID-19 and malaria will contribute to efforts in response planning using modeling approaches, developing patient management algorithms, as well as adaptation of COVID-19 response plans and guidance for malaria settings.
To further identify the current initiatives in funding and gaps in clinical epidemiology research for the interface of COVID-19 and malaria, this landscape analysis is being conducted to support WHO Global Malaria Programme and partners in understanding current investments and future investment needs during the COVID-19 response to determine malaria intervention requirements and coordinate surveillance activities.
This is an active deep dive and we welcome your contributions! If you are currently involved or planning research activities on the interface of COVID-19 and malaria please contact Dr. Koya C. Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For grant opportunities to initiate new research activities or adapt ongoing projects to capture clinical epidemiology of COVID-19 & malaria please see updates provided on the MESA calendar!
 WHO Global Malaria Programme; The potential impact of health service disruptions on the burden of malaria: a modelling analysis for countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For more information: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/the-potential-impact-of-health-service-disruptions-on-the-burden-of-malaria
 WHO Statement on Continuity of Malaria Services: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/25-03-2020-who-urges-countries-to-ensure-the-continuity-of-malaria-services-in-the-context-of-the-covid-19-pandemic
 WHO Global Malaria Programme; Guidance on Tailoring malaria interventions in the COVID-19 response. For more information: https://www.who.int/malaria/publications/atoz/tailoring-malaria-interventions-covid-19.pdf