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COVID-19 pandemic

Supporting countries to achieve their malaria elimination goals: the WHO E-2020 initiative

January 12, 2022 - 23:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Kim A. Lindblade, Hong Li Xiao, Amanda Tiffany, Gawrie Galappaththy and Pedro Alonso
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:481, 20 December 2021

Malaria causes more than 200 million cases of illness and 400,000 deaths each year across 90 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) set a goal for 35 countries to eliminate malaria by 2030, with an intermediate milestone of 10 countries by 2020. In 2017, the WHO established the Elimination-2020 (E-2020) initiative to help countries achieve their malaria elimination goals and included 21 countries with the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020.

Achieving malaria elimination in China

December 11, 2021 - 21:43 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Cao J, Newby G, Cotter C, Hsiang MS, Larson E, Tatarsky A, Gosling RD, Xia Z, Gao Q
Reference: 
Lancet Public Health. 2021 Dec;6(12):e871-e872

China was certified malaria-free by WHO on June 30, 2021, a remarkable achievement and the culmination of decades of dedicated effort by the national malaria programme and its partners.

Increased risk of severe malaria in travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic

September 1, 2021 - 15:56 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
de Laval F, Maugey N, Bonet d'Oléon A, Pommier de Santi V, Ficko C
Reference: 
J Travel Med. 2021 Aug 27;28(6):taab106

We observed an increase in severe cases of falciparum malaria among French service members (who are travellers in endemic areas) in 2020, associated with an increase in the time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis/treatment.

Addressing budget reduction and reallocation on health-related resources during COVID-19 pandemic in malaria-endemic countries

November 17, 2020 - 13:30 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Ajib Diptyanusa and Karen Nelwin Zablon
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:411, 16 November 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the maintenance of various disease control programmes, including malaria. In some malaria-endemic countries, funding and personnel reallocations were executed from malaria control programmes to support COVID-19 response efforts, resulting mainly in interruptions of disease control activities and reduced capabilities of health system.

Preventing the re-establishment of malaria in Sri Lanka amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

November 4, 2020 - 09:58 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Prasad Ranaweera, Rajitha Wickremasinghe and Kamini Mendis
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:386, 2 November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on other health programmes in countries, including on malaria, and is currently under much discussion. As many countries are accelerating efforts to eliminate malaria or to prevent the re-establishment of malaria from recently eliminated countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to cause major interruptions to ongoing anti-malaria operations and risk jeopardizing the gains that have been made so far.

Malaria Situation in the Peruvian Amazon during the COVID-19 Pandemic

September 12, 2020 - 15:02 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Torres K, Alava F, Soto-Calle V, Llanos-Cuentas A, Rodriguez H, Llacsahuanga L, Gamboa D, Vinetz J
Reference: 
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Sep 3

The Peruvian Ministry of Health reports a near absence of malaria cases in the Amazon region during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rapid increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections has overwhelmed the Peruvian health system, leading to national panic and closure of public medical facilities, casting doubt on how accurately malaria cases' numbers reflect reality.

Emergence of Undetectable Malaria Parasites: A Threat under the Radar amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 13, 2020 - 11:05 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Beshir KB, Grignard L, Hajissa K, Mohammed A, Nurhussein AM, Ishengoma DS, Lubis IND, Drakeley CJ, Sutherland CJ
Reference: 
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2):558-560

Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) play a critical role in malaria diagnosis and control. The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites that can evade detection by RDTs threatens control and elimination efforts. These parasites lack or have altered genes encoding histidine-rich proteins (HRPs) 2 and 3, the antigens recognized by HRP2-based RDTs.

BCG vaccination policy and preventive chloroquine usage: do they have an impact on COVID-19 pandemic

July 13, 2020 - 16:17 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sharma A, Kumar Sharma S, Shi Y, Bucci E, Carafoli E, Melino G, Bhattacherjee A, Das G
Reference: 
Cell Death Dis. 2020 Jul 8;11(7):516

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the light of its rapid global spreading, on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. Interestingly, the global spreading of the disease is not uniform, but has so far left some countries relatively less affected. The reason(s) for this anomalous behavior are not fully understood, but distinct hypotheses have been proposed.

Malaria prophylaxis approach during COVID-19 pandemic

May 6, 2020 - 14:58 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Rodriguez-Valero N, Vera I, Torralvo MR, De Alba T, Ferrer E, Camprubi D, Almuedo Riera A, Gallego RS, Muelas M, Pinazo MJ, Muñoz J
Reference: 
Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 29:101716

Malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are currently being evaluated in a number of clinical trials as active treatments against SARS-CoV-2 virus. They are also postulated for pre and postexposure prophylaxis for the prevention of COVID-19. It has been recently shown that both molecules inhibit in-vitro the entry of the virus in the cell, and they can stop the cytokine storm derived from the infection alongside impeding T cell activation [1,2]. In particular, hydroxychloroquine is a drug with an excellent safety profile, even for pregnant women. Furthermore, hydroxychloroquine has been successfully used during decades for the management of rheumatologic diseases modulating inflammation and organ damage [3].

Diagnosing malaria and other febrile illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 29, 2020 - 05:36 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Dittrich S, Lamy M, Acharya S, Thu HK, Datta R, Blacksell SD, Hein PS, Mercado CEG, Ding XC, Chebbi A
Reference: 
Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S2214-109X(20)30210-2

As the global malaria community observes World Malaria Day on April 25, 2020, we have plenty to celebrate. Yet this year, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is greatly dampening the spirits. While the Asia-Pacific region has made substantial progress against malaria, with a 42% reduction in confirmed cases between 2010 and 2018, the emergence of COVID-19 could undermine elimination efforts.

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