Malaria in the time of COVID: Through the looking glass

22 Dec 2021

Photo: Anna Wang/MMV

One child lost to malaria is one too many. Today, we have a clearer picture on the real number losing their lives and its far greater than once thought. This worrisome news comes to us from the recently launched World Malaria Report 2021, which estimates that malaria deaths worldwide were 627,000 in 2020. Of those who lost their lives, 602,000 were in Africa and 480,000 were African children under 5.

By comparison, in 2020, there were an estimated 541,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Europe and 508,000 in North America. While every death from these illnesses represents a tragic loss, the comparison between COVID-19 and malaria serves to remind us of the scale of loss from malaria, year after year, even while our attention is currently focussed on limiting the spread and impact of SARS-CoV-2.

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