As the temperatures drop and leaves begin to fall across the US, we start to see fewer mosquitos, but in African countries, their mosquito season never ends.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that deaths from malaria could double in 2020 if programs such as net distributions and malaria treatment are severely disrupted from COVID-19. We cannot let the current pandemic compound an already deadly disease.
WHO urges countries to move fast and distribute malaria prevention and treatment tools at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa, and to do their utmost to safely maintain these essential malaria control services.
Bill Gates declared the week of August 16th "Mosquito Week" on his GatesNotes blog on Monday, highlighting a number of mosquito-related videos and articles. Every night, the tiny biting insects infect millions of people with malaria, a disease that kills a child every other minute, Gates wrote.
"Mosquitoes don't practice social distancing. They don't wear masks, either," Gates wrote. "As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, it's important to remember that the world's deadliest animal hasn't taken a break during this pandemic."
Most malaria deaths occur in the world's poorest countries, Gates says in a new video. The billionaire has spoken out on why he fears mosquitoes more than sharks before, but notes that the pandemic could severely disrupt malaria prevention and treatment, meaning deaths could skyrocket to levels not seen in decades.
From our partner, Nothing But Nets:
Addressing malaria and other health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic will save lives, reduce the number of people who need to seek treatment at health facilities, and lessen the burden on health systems. In the end, that approach benefits the entire community. By treating malaria promptly and adapting our approach to providing essential health services during this unprecedented time, we can reduce the toll of preventable deaths.
You can help by taking action through our Nothing But Nets campaign.