People are going hungry. This immediately increases the rate of malnutrition allowing Tuberculosis to emerge. Stop TB Partnership have predicted an extra 6.3 million cases of TB and 1.4 million extra TB deaths over the next five years. During global lockdowns cases of notified TB have declined as people are unable to access the services they need for diagnosis and treatment. Whilst their disease is concealed from the services able to help, TB will be taking relentless hold. Extreme suffering and preventable death are likely to be increasing exponentially.
Populations in malaria-endemic regions are experiencing disruptions in access to insecticide-treated bed nets, diagnostic testing and effective anti-malaria medications. The Global Malaria Programme predict that Malaria deaths in 2020 could reach 770,000 which turns Malaria control progress back by twenty years and is double the number of deaths seen in 2018. Approximately 70% of all Malaria deaths occur in children under the age of five years old.
Modeling of HIV service disruptions suggest that AIDS-related deaths could double in some regions due to people being unable to access their necessary medications. Most of these people are young.
Last week Cambodia diagnosed two new cases of Coronavirus, both in travelers entering the country who have been appropriately quarantined, as have their fellow flight passengers. Here is my conversation with a Cambodian friend:
“Everyone is scared of the virus again”
“Both of those people came to Cambodia from other places. It is not local virus. I saw an Australian woman talking about this today. She is in Vietnam and she said that there is also no virus there. For some reason the virus is not hurting anyone there, why are people afraid when it is not there?”.
“I wish no new virus in Cambodia”.
“People were traveling to Cambodia from China a lot since last year and the virus did not do anything, why are people still scared? What about TB, do they feel afraid of TB?”
“Noone in Cambodia is scared of TB”.
“So Coronavirus that killed 0 Cambodian people makes people frightened, but TB that kills 13,000 people every year, is not frightening? Crazy!”
The real killer seems to be universal and irrational fear?