The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 130 000 lives in the last 15 months on the African continent. At the same time, more than 400 000 patients have died there from malaria. Most of them are children. Doctors and staff at public health institutes make no secret of their frustration. Covid has grabbed the world’s attention because it also affects wealthy countries. It has mobilised global resources on an unprecedented scale, pushing the boundary of what was previously impossible in the pharmaceutical world. As a result, mass vaccination programmes were launched less than a year after the pandemic was declared. Today’s best malaria vaccine candidate, a formulation known as R21, has been in the phase of trials and formal procedures for over a decade.
Burkina Faso is one of six African countries that account for half of malaria deaths worldwide. In a country of 20 million people, 11 million patients are diagnosed annually. 4000 of them die. Malaria remains one of the world’s deadliest diseases. More than 220 million people get it every year, and more than half a million of them die.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is another red dot on the malaria map of the world. The hospital that we support in Ntamugenga, cut off from the world for months on end by borders closed due to COVID-19, saved nearly 8,000 lives from malaria last year. 4643 of them were children under the age of 5. More than 600 young patients needed blood transfusions to survive, and we managed to do it. Let us not start believing that we can do nothing. We will not speed up research into the vaccine, that is a fact, but we can make a real difference to the fate of our patients by supporting a hospital that fights for their lives every day.
Join us in the fight for the lives of malaria patients!