COVID-19 is devastating, particularly to those living in extreme poverty. But the worst impact of COVID-19 in Africa will not be COVID-19 deaths directly, but rather COVID-19’s knock-on or indirect effects — especially its impact on hunger, the overall economy, wellbeing, and unemployment.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect, and treat malaria. In an April 2020 report, WHO writes that “[s]evere disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year as compared to 2018.” I talked about this report with my son Noah recently while we were walking on his organic vegetable farm. I was excited to visit my fifteen-month-old granddaughter in his cabin ahead when he reminded me with a wry smile that COVID-19 deaths are “overwhelmingly older people like you, dad, while the malaria deaths are predominantly children and pregnant women.” Keeping Noah’s comment in mind about who is impacted most by a failure to aggressively prevent and treat malaria and the risk COVID-19 poses to malaria prevention and treatment, donating to our two recommended malaria nonprofits is an excellent way to respond to COVID-19.