Study predicts surge in HIV, TB and malaria deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

LONDON (Reuters) - Deaths from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria could surge in poor and middle-income countries as already weak health systems grapple with severe disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a predictive study published on Monday. Over the next five years, deaths from the three diseases could rise by as much as 10%, 20% and 36% respectively - putting the mortality impact on a scale similar to the direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic itself, the modelling study found

Reuters July 14, 2020 05:11:23 IST
Study predicts surge in HIV, TB and malaria deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/themes/firstpost/images/220x220_Watermark.jpg" alt="Study predicts surge in HIV TB and malaria deaths amid COVID19 pandemic" width="300" height="225" />

LONDON (Reuters) - Deaths from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria could surge in poor and middle-income countries as already weak health systems grapple with severe disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a predictive study published on Monday.

Over the next five years, deaths from the three diseases could rise by as much as 10%, 20% and 36% respectively - putting the mortality impact on a scale similar to the direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic itself, the modelling study found.

"In countries with a high malaria burden and large HIV and TB epidemics, even short-term disruptions could have devastating consequences for the millions of people who depend on programmes to control and treat these diseases," said Timothy Hallett, a professor at Imperial College London who co-led the work.

He said the knock-on impact of COVID-19 could undo some of the significant progress against these diseases made over the past two decades, "compounding the burden caused by the pandemic directly". But the risks could be mitigated, Hallett said, if countries strive to maintain core health services and deploy preventative measures against infections.

Published in the Lancet Global Health journal, the study - which used disease-modelling projections to map out possible COVID-19 pandemic scenarios - found that the greatest impact on HIV would be from interruption to supplies of the antiretroviral AIDS drugs taken by many patients to keep the disease in check.

The United Nations AIDS agency and the World Health Organization warned last week of such stock shortages, with more than a third of the world's countries already saying they are at risk of running out of antiretrovirals.

With malaria, the study found the largest impact would be due to disrupted distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, which protect millions of people from becoming infected by malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Global equities break record as U.S. stocks waver after manufacturing data
Business

Global equities break record as U.S. stocks waver after manufacturing data

By Katanga Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Global equities set both an intraday high and record close on Tuesday as markets as investors weighed the latest U.S. economic data for signs of a rebound and rising inflation while Wall Street's main indexes wavered before ending little changed. Graphic: Global asset performance http://tmsnrt.rs/2yaDPgn Energy shares were among the best performing during the session as the OPEC+ alliance agreed to hike output in July and gave a bullish forecast.

Zoom beats quarterly revenue estimates on steady demand
Business

Zoom beats quarterly revenue estimates on steady demand

(Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, benefiting from steady demand for its video-conferencing platform as people wary of the pandemic continued school and work from home. Zoom became a household name during the pandemic as businesses and schools switched to its video conferencing platform for virtual classes, office meetings and social catch-ups.

Cyprus sees nationalists gain in parliament vote
World

Cyprus sees nationalists gain in parliament vote

By Michele Kambas NICOSIA (Reuters) -Cyprus's ruling conservatives emerged as winners but failed to get an absolute majority in a parliamentary election on Sunday, with voters turning to smaller parties, including a right-wing party with links to Greece's now outlawed Golden Dawn.