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On World Mosquito Day, we sat down with GFAN speaker Krystal Birungi to talk about the role of the Global Fund in her life and the course of the fight against malaria in Uganda. She knows mosquitos and the ravages they can bring all too well, from studying them as an entomologist but also from the way malaria has touched her and her family.

Krystal, tell us about yourself, and why you decided to dedicate so much time to the fight against malaria.

I am an entomologist working at the Uganda Virus Research Institute under a project called Target Malaria. It is my goal to see a world free of malaria, where mothers no longer have to live with the fear of losing a child to this disease.

Growing up, my family didn’t have much. While my parents worked hard, they just couldn’t afford a lot of things including sometimes health care. Malaria was especially scary to us because it was this constant worry that you could catch it at any time a...

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Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. However, Africa carries the highest burden. In 2019, the region was home to 94% of all malaria cases and deaths. The youngest are particularly affected. In many places, mosquito-borne infectious disease is one of the leading causes of death in children under five. But older children and adults are also hit hard by the disease: If they fall ill, they cannot go to school or work, miss education, or are unable to provide for their families. And Covid-19 has complicated things further. 

Mirriam Banda Chisamba from Zambia is familiar with this as well. In 2019 her home country reported 5 million cases of malaria. Though when Mirriam was a child she had malaria almost every year. “This had an impact on my education, because I would miss out on school for days, sometimes nearly a week,” she says. “Back then we had no bednets, no ra...

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I am Miranda Ekema Ndolo, I’m 25 years old and a nurse and youth activist. I have an amazing husband and lovely son who rock my world. I’m very passionate about health systems, services and policies and I have a particular interest working with communities especially communities that are dominated by adolescent girls and young women living with HIV. My work as an activist cuts across HIV, TB, and Malaria.

The Global Fund has given me a voice through the HER Voice Fund; to contribute to the SRHR and needs of AGYW and to lead community based responses to HIV on a Global scale.

Thanks to the Global Fund, Cameroon has been able to put in place programs meant to address barriers to HIV/ TB and Malaria services and also organize training for health care workers on human rights and medical ethics.

I am an advocate because I’m passionate about speaking and advocating ...

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic likely caused an additional 40-50,000 deaths from malaria that otherwise could have been prevented. If we do not act now to address the cause of these additional deaths and fight COVID-19 and malaria together, we will undoubtedly lose years of progress.

The Global Fund is providing guidance, tools and immediate funding of more than US$1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and prevent fragile health systems from being overwhelmed, but they need more – $5 billion more.

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The world marked World Mosquito Day on 20 August.

This year, GFAN Africa and the Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME) mobilized partners on World Mosquito Day to join in social media action to emphasize the need for countries and regional partners to work towards the elimination of malaria amid COVID -19. This is in consideration of the knock on effect that COVID-19 will cause to malaria elimination as a result of disruption of prevention, treatment and care services. Partners from the following countries joined in the twitterthon: Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Ghana.

In 1897 Ronald Ross working in India discovered that culicine mosquitoes transmitted the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum and suggested that human malaria parasites might also be transmitted by mosquitoes.This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , on by .

Source:  The Lancet

“COVID-19 has the potential to cause substantial disruptions to health services, due to cases overburdening the health system or response measures limiting usual programmatic activities. We aimed to quantify the extent to which disruptions to services for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in low-income and middle-income countries with high burdens of these diseases could lead to additional loss of life over the next 5 years.”

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