Pope Francis stresses combating malaria must continue as world also fights COVID-19

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Pope Francis holds his general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Pope Francis held his weekly general audience in the privacy of his library as the Vatican implemented Italy’s drastic coronavirus lockdown measures, barring the general public from St. Peter’s Square and taking precautions to limit the spread of infections in the tiny city state. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Vatican News via AP)

Pope Francis is stressing that efforts to combat malaria must continue even as the world fights COVID-19.

Concern has been rising that while the world is focused on the pandemic, people suffering from other illnesses could receive less attention. Francis added his voice to that chorus of concern.

“While we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, we must also continue our efforts to prevent and treat malaria, which threatens billions of people in many countries,” he said during his Sunday blessing.

The World Health Organization has said severe disruptions to anti-malaria campaigns, using insecticide-treated netting against mosquitoes, coupled with difficulties in accessing medicine could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018.

Source : NBC News

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