The COVID-19 pandemic is having a serious impact on the most vulnerable communities worldwide and threatens progress on HIV, TB, malaria, vaccination and other areas of health.

Below, you can find regularly updated information on the impact of COVID-19 on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria and news items from around the world on important developments.

1. Fauci Highlights
2. Global Fund Survey
3. Imperial College Study
4. COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS
5. COVID-19 and Malaria
6. COVID-19 & Tuberculosis
7. Latest News
8. Further Reading

Highlights: Dr. Fauci on COVID-19 and AIDS, TB and Malaria

On September 11, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hosted a live conversation with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci exploring how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting low- and middle-income countries around the world, the threat it poses to long-term U.S. global health investments and how the U.S. can help.

See the full event and highlights here

Global Fund Survey: Majority of HIV, TB and Malaria Programs Face Disruptions as a Result of COVID-19

Results from the Global Fund’s latest biweekly survey show challenges for HIV prevention and HIV, TB and malaria case finding. In addition, the Global Fund is seeing cancelled or delayed prevention activities and laboratory staff being reassigned to COVID-19 – twenty percent of HIV and TB lab services are experiencing high or very high disruptions.

10% of HIV, 9% of TB and 6% of malaria programs report shortages of key medical supplies and treatment.

  • 80% of HIV programs reported disruption to service delivery (21% with high or very high disruptions);
  • 75% of TB programs reported disruption to service delivery (19% with high or very high disruptions);
  • 66% of malaria programs reported disruption to service delivery (15% with high or very high disruptions).

Activities are being canceled due to:

  • Lockdowns
  • Restrictions on gatherings of people
  • Transport stoppages
  • COVID-related stigma
  • Reluctance of health workers to attend to people suspected of having TB or malaria – which have many of the same initial symptoms as COVID-19
  • Clients not seeking health services as usual

“The COVID-19 pandemic is only now starting to accelerate in many low- and middle-income countries, and needs will soar,” said Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands. “We expect that our initial funding will be largely deployed by the end of June. Additional funding is critically needed to fight COVID-19, and to adapt HIV, TB and malaria programs. If not, many more lives will be lost.”

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Imperial College Study

Imperial College London estimates “in high burden settings, HIV, TB and malaria related deaths over 5 years may be increased by up to 10%, 20% and 36%, respectively, compared to if there were no COVID-19 epidemic.” That’s why the Global Fund to End AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is providing immediate funding through its COVID-19 Response Mechanism.


NEW YORK TIMES: ‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.

Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people each year. Lockdowns and supply-chain disruptions threaten progress against the disease as well as H.I.V. and malaria.

Aug. 3, 2020 – It begins with a mild fever and malaise, followed by a painful cough and shortness of breath. The infection prospers in crowds, spreading to people in close reach. Containing an outbreak requires contact tracing, as well as isolation and treatment of the sick for weeks or months.

This insidious disease has touched every part of the globe. It is tuberculosis, the biggest infectious-disease killer worldwide, claiming 1.5 million lives each year.

Until this year, TB and its deadly allies, H.I.V. and malaria, were on the run. The toll from each disease over the previous decade was at its nadir in 2018, the last year for which data are available.

Yet now, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, consuming global health resources, these perennially neglected adversaries are making a comeback. Read more from Apoorva Mandavilli in the New York Times.

How the Global Fund is Responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 & HIV/AIDS

  • A six-month disruption of antiretroviral therapy due to COVID-19 could lead to more than 500,000 extra deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, including from tuberculosis, in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The 25.7 million people living with HIV and 16.4 million people taking antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Arica risk treatment interruptions due to COVID-19 because HIV services are closed, supply chains to deliver antiretroviral therapies are disrupted or service providers are overwhelmed.
  • “The COVID-19 pandemic must not be an excuse to divert investment from HIV,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “There is a risk that the hard-earned gains of the AIDS response will be sacrificed to the fight against COVID-19, but the right to health means that no one disease should be fought at the expense of the other.”
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COVID-19 & Malaria

  • This year, we celebrated the distribution of the 2 billionth bed net to prevent malaria infections, but if COVID-19 leads to a severe disruption malaria services like insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could double.
  • For many countries in the Sahel region of West Africa, peak malaria season in September is likely to overlap with COVID-19 related disruptions if current trends hold.
Learn More

COVID-19 & Tuberculosis

  • Lockdowns and limitations on diagnosis, treatment and prevention services could erase five years of progress on TB, increasing the annual number of deaths and cases over the next five years.
  • A three-month lockdown and 10-month restoration of services could mean an additional 6.3 million TB cases and 1.4 million deaths over five years.
  • Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people each year, more than any other infectious disease.
Learn More

Latest News

9/25/20: South Africa: Covid-19 and Rural South Africa – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Doctors without borders)

“When COVID-19 hit, one of the biggest questions for the medical community was this: how do we protect people living with HIV and TB from the risk of infection in health facilities, while at the same time ensuring that vital health services for these vulnerable populations are maintained? MSF [Medecins Sans Frontieres] in Eshowe came up with a strategy that aims to deliver medication for stable, asymptomatic patients with chronic conditions at easy-to-reach pick-up points in their communities. ’We worked out that there are approximately 19,000 individuals on anti-retroviral treatment in our area and designed a process for identifying which of these would be eligible to receive their medication at community pick-up points. 1,500 have been enrolled for this service to date, saving them time and money,’ [Dr. Liesbet] Ohler [MSF infectious diseases specialist] says.” READ MORE

9/25/20: Africa Needs Fiscal Space, More Representation in Security Council as COVID 19 Erases Hard Won Development Gains Across Continent, Speakers Tell General Assembly (United Nations General Assembly)

“Turning to COVID‑19, [Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger] said Niger was able to control the spread of the virus with an immediate health response and broader measures for economic and social mitigation including food distribution, free social services and tax breaks. However, the pandemic also has an impact on malaria, tuberculosis and other tropical diseases in Niger, he said, calling for better treatments and vaccines for all the illnesses threatening the African continent. Africa only receives 1 per cent of global health­care spending and 40 per cent of medical products sold on the continent are counterfeit or of poor quality.” READ MORE

9/24/20: 70% of Bihar’s TB control staff still on Covid duty as state records steep fall in diagnosis (the print– india)

“Speaking to ThePrint, K.N. Sahay, state TB officer for Bihar, said 54,000 patients are currently being treated under his watch, attributing the decline in notifications to the lockdown. ‘All the testing centres were closed during the lockdown. Even now, only 50 per cent of those have opened,’ Sahay said. ‘One of the key challenges right now is that even if the treatment is initiated, we are not able to follow up… 70 per cent of my staff has still been deployed for treatment of Covid-19,’ he added. Doctors in Bihar say some TB patients have started seeking treatment after the lockdown was eased. Dr Vinay Kumar, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS Patna, said: ‘About 6-7 per cent patients are coming back for TB-related OPDs. TB patients have largely been neglected in the state due to lockdown; there isn’t enough staff to test and control the disease.’” READ MORE

9/24/20: COVID-19 hassles hampers fight against dengue in Delhi (the new indian experess – india)

“The primary work of fumigation, screening of houses and identifying breeding spots are done by the municipal corporations. However, their work this year has largely been affected due to multiple reasons, primarily Covid-19. ‘The first is that the domestic breeding checkers (DBC) cannot visit the houses or enter to check if the coolers are kept clean or if there is stagnant water which can be a potential breeding spot for mosquitoes. This is owing to coronavirus. Also, not all the streets can be fogged as many fall under containment zones. So, overall, coronavirus has affected a lot of measures taken to counter dengue and malaria,’ said Dr Pramod Kumar, additional medical health officer, North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Another factor is the deferment of salaries to staffers due to the tight budgets that local bodies are operating with.  

‘Budget is another issue. More funds are required to carry out the ground-level work. Also, many of the DBC workers and staffers are engaged in other sanitation work related to Covid-19,’ said Dr BK Hazarika, South MCD Health Officer. Dr Punit Mishra, Professor, Community Medicine, AIIMS Delhi noted that owing to similar symptoms such as high fever, body ache, headache among others, patients are first tested getting tested for Covid-19 rather than the other common vector-borne diseases. ‘There is a lot happening with diagnostic delays. People, if tested negative for corona, are not going for dengue or malaria tests. Therefore, many cases are not getting reported. Also, there are fewer blood donations this time and that might affect the treatment of patients with vector-borne disease.’” READ MORE

9/24/20: India will be able to end TB by 2025: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (economic Times healthworld – india)

“[Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare] pointed out that poverty is a powerful determinant of tuberculosis and undernutrition an important risk factor of developing active TB disease. ‘To address this, we are providing cash incentives through Direct Benefit Transfers for nutritional support and since April 2018, Rs 7.9 billion (around USD 110 million) have been distributed to over 3 million beneficiaries. Affordable and quality TB care is a priority for our Government,’ he stated. The Minister further spoke about India’s fight against COVID-19 and said: ‘We reached a historic low in the month of April with lockdown in full force, but through sustained efforts, we have managed an increase of 43 per cent in May and another 25 per cent in June.’ To mitigate the impact, the government has been issuing constant advisories to the States to ensure convergence of TB case finding with COVID-19 efforts, he said adding that ‘we have initiated bi-directional screening among TB and COVID patients, and screening for TB among influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).’” READ MORE

9/24/20: Responding to covid-19 in Africa: Using Data to Find a balance Part II (Partnership for evidence-based covid-19 response)

“In countries with the most reported disruptions to communicable disease care, missed visits for suspected malaria were most common; disruptions were also more prevalent in countries with a high burden of the malaria (e.g., Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria). Overall, significant missed visits for malaria care aligned with growing reports of outbreaks across Africa. Disruptions to other communicable disease care were less frequent, but could have major health consequences at both the individual and population level: 4% of respondents reported disruptions to vaccinations, 2% for HIV treatment, and 1% for tuberculosis…” READ MORE

9/24/20: COVID-19 DISRUPTIONS TO RESULT IN 534,000 HIV-RELATED DEATHS (THE STAR – KENYA)

“The [World Health Organization’s] researchers noted that although an interruption in the supply of ART would have the largest impact of any potential disruptions, effects of poorer clinical care due to overstretched health facilities, interruptions of supply of other drugs such as cotrimozamole, and suspension of HIV testing would all have substantial effect on population-level mortality over a year. The [WHO] study, however, noted that social distancing would lead to a reduction in risky sexual behaviour. ‘Interruption in condom supplies and peer education would make the population more susceptible to increases in HIV incidences,’ it states. Research findings by the Lancet published in August showed that interruption of ART would increase mother to child transmission of HIV by approximately 1.6 times.” READ MORE

9/24/20: WORLD IN PROGRESS: CORONAVIRUS MAKES LIFE HARDER FOR HIV/AIDS PATIENTS IN UGANDA (DEUTSCHE WELLE)

“Sub-Saharan Africa could be facing up to 500,000 additional AIDS-related deaths due to coronavirus  – that’s according to a warning from the UN Aids agency UNAID. In Uganda, a hike in public transport costs and border closures, have made it very expensive for people to get to pharmacies and hospitals to pick up life-saving drug refills. So far, less than two and half thousand people in the country have tested positive for coronavirus, but social distancing rules and other restrictions remain in place.” READ MORE

9/23/20: Covid-19 and Malaria – How Surveillance Systems Can Adapt to Fight Both (Malaria consortium)

“’Strong surveillance is the foundation for robust health systems. The COVID-19 pandemic brings with it risks of a diversion of resources and a drop in surveillance for other diseases like malaria. It is critical, at this time, to listen to a breadth of perspectives from different countries to reflect on our experience and lessons learnt. Collectively we’ll be able to better identify priorities, document best practice and identify optimal approaches that address both new and existing surveillance challenges.’ Arantxa Roca-Feltrer, Head of Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation at Malaria Consortium and RBM MERG co-chair.” READ MORE

9/23/20: Bill Gates: The Pandemic Has Erased Years of Progress (the atlantic)

“’This [Goalkeeper’s Report] had to deliver the news that if you only look at COVID deaths, you’re actually missing the scale of the setback. Because it’s also routine immunization, malaria, getting HIV medicines. Things are so disrupted, even gathering the numbers for that was very, very difficult. But we dropped our routine-immunization levels by over 14 percent. There’s going to have to be a stronger equity agenda, hopefully on a global basis, once we get out of this. Thirty-seven million people have been driven into extreme poverty. That’s really just gut-wrenching. Most of the time when we talk about infectious diseases, our problem is, the world doesn’t pay attention to malaria or TB. Here, because people care so much about getting the [COVID-19] vaccines, they’re actually saying,‘Okay, we should maybe be even less generous.’ The kind of generosity that historically has helped might even go down.’ [Bill Gates]” READ MORE

9/23/20: Maintaining robust HIV and TB services in the COVID-19 era: A public health dilemma in Zimbabwe (international journal of infectious diseases – zimbabwe)

“Health workers have been reassigned to meet the COVID-19 testing demand leading to very few people conducting HIV and TB testing. Medical staff anxiety and burn out is also playing a role on testing as staff are overwhelmed with COVID-19 testing… With the number of COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing, diversion of HIV and TB funds should be taken with much caution. Zimbabwe HIV and TB response heavily relies on imported consumables, test kits and medication. Supply chain activities in the COVID-19 era is have been disrupted with closure of borders and grounding of cargo ships and flights. This calls for the government to do more on ensuring the country’s stockpile is well stocked for these unprecedented disruptions. The aggressive national COVID-19 mass media campaign has seen HIV, TB and other chronic disease clients less likely to attend facilities due to fear of contracting the COVID-19. This is coupled with the lack of movement of public transportation, fear of encounters with law enforcement officers and curfews. These barriers to care may result in increased HIV and TB – related morbidity and mortality in the short-term.” READ MORE

9/23/20: Describing COVID-19 pandemic as wake-up call, dress rehearsal for future challenges, Secretary-General opens annual General Assembly debate with vision for solidarity (RELIEF WEB)

“Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said global health care and humanitarian workers expect the world to respond to COVID‑19 together. ‘This demands that we cooperate, that we invent new international solutions,’ he said. Until a cure is found, the world must learn to live with the virus — and a new reality that reveals the dizzying level of global vulnerability. After years of progress in fighting HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, there are now 37 million people who have fallen into abject poverty and more than 1 billion students affected by school closings.” READ MORE

9/23/20: WHO supports government to integrate COVID-19 case finding into TB surveillance activities (WHO Africa – nigeria)

“Ms Janet Ishaya is one of the beneficiaries of renewed efforts to curb COVID-19 in Nigeria, whereby World Health Organization (WHO) supports the government in an initiative to improve contact tracing, active case search and testing with support of the already existing Tuberculosis (TB) infrastructure in the country. The outbreak of COVID-19 in February 2020 and the presence of public health response measures put in place to curtail the spread of the global pandemic in the country had led to palpable fear in the TB community that the virus might impact on the active TB case finding activities. However that took a different turn as the structure is being effectively utilized to combine TB and COVID-19. Presently, all the 36 + 1 S Nigerian States are currently including COVID-19 in their TB response to ensure that no case is missed and every positive case is handled accordingly.” READ MORE

9/22/20: anti-tb program—Another victim in covid-19 frenzy (philippine daily inquirer – philippines)

“[In] the Philippines, 70 Filipinos die every day. We need to sustain the initiatives which appear to be effective in TB control, and we need funds to keep the momentum going. Cutting the budget for TB control next year by P1 billion is definitely a big blow that can dissipate whatever gains that have been achieved in the last five years. What a big waste that would be! The 65-member organizations of Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis (PhilCAT), along with TB advocates and survivors, wrote an urgent letter to Sen. Bong Go, chair of the Senate committee on health and demography, calling for the restoration of the TB budget for next year to maintain the National TB Program (NTP). The implementation of the Philippine Strategic TB Elimination Plan, Phase One, which started in 2018 and will be completed by 2023 will greatly suffer with the budget cut.” READ MORE

9/22/20: COVID-19 Could Activate Latent Tuberculosis (san diego state university news)

“’When people get sick with SARS-CoV-2, they could not only activate their latent TB, but also transmit their TB along with SARS-CoV-2 to others,’ [Faramarz] ]Valafar [professor at San Diego’s State University’s School of Public Health] said. ‘The U.S has been spared from the wrath of drug resistant TB so far, but may no longer be that lucky. We need to prepare. We may start seeing strains that are atypical in the United States very soon.’ People who have traveled abroad and acquired drug resistant TB in its latent form in the past may now experience activation of their latent TB because of COVID-19, he noted. He fears this could cause outbreaks of drug resistant TB in the U.S. Valafar explained that the TB bacterium is an opportunistic pathogen and remains latent, waiting for people’s immune system to become compromised — as in the case of AIDS,  or overwhelmed — as in the case of COVID-19, before it activates. ‘We have already seen the synergy between TB and AIDS, so it’s a distinct possibility,’ he said. ‘While having TB could make people more susceptible to COVID-19, the coronavirus can also help spread TB much faster, acting as a vehicle of transmission.’” READ MORE

9/22/20: THE DANGERS OF FOCUSING SOLELY ON COVID (RACONTEUR)

“The coronavirus pandemic is like a black hole, consuming global health resources and the concerted efforts of countless medical professionals around the globe. It’s threatening progress against other killer diseases, such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. ‘What makes this pandemic unprecedented is not the virus, but the response to it, which is mostly driven by fear and panic that overestimates and overreacts,’ says Ade Adeyemi, who heads up the global health fellowship at Chatham House.” READ MORE

9/22/20: DEADLY MALARIA AND CHOLERA OUTBREAKS GROW AMONGST REFUGEES AS COVID PANDEMIC STRAINS HEALTH SYSTEMS, WARNS IRC (INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE)

“There is an increase in malaria and cholera cases compared to previous years due in part to COVID-related disruptions severely impeding diagnosis and treatment of the diseases, access to relief from floods as well as affordability of mosquito nets. Apart from the strain on health facilities during the pandemic, in some countries such as Somalia, Kenya and Sierra Leone, we are seeing that a fear of exposure to COVID-19 has prevented parents from taking their children to hospital, delaying diagnosis and treatment of malaria and increasing preventable deaths. COVID restrictions in some countries have also meant pregnant women have missed antimalarial drugs. Untreated malaria in pregnant women can increase the risk of anaemia, premature births, low birth weight and infant death.” READ MORE


Further Reading

9/21/20: TWO PANDEMICS, ONE CHALLENGE—LEVERAGING MOLECULAR TEST CAPACITY OF TUBERCULOSIS LABORATORIES FOR RAPID COVID-19 CASE-FINDING (CDC)

“The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents a massive challenge for healthcare systems globally. Rapid case-finding and patient isolation are crucial to limit transmission and avoid exceeding capacity limits of critical healthcare infrastructures. A recent modeling analysis showed a 70% drop in the probability of TB [tuberculosis] diagnosis per visit to a healthcare provider because of reduced laboratory capacity and availability of healthcare staff secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic in countries like India, Kenya, and Ukraine.” READ MORE

9/21/20: “PHYSICAL DISTANCE, NOT SOCIAL DISTANCE”: SUPPORTING JAMAICAN WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV DURING COVID-19 (UNAIDS)

“According to the Jamaica Community of Positive Women (JCW+), many of their clients reported having received only one month’s supply of HIV treatment, although they were hoping for the recommended three months. New screening protocols at certain clinics have made some people feel exposed to unfamiliar health-care staff and unexpected disclosure of their HIV status. A few women report not having been able to access contraception on time. According to the Coordinator of JCW+, Olive Edwards, the pressure of dealing with both pandemics has had a huge mental health impact on women living with HIV.” READ MORE

9/21/20: 90–90–90: good progress, but the world is off-track for hitting the 2020 targets (unaids)

“The COVID-19 pandemic also could have an impact on viral load. Early modelling showed that a severe disruption in HIV treatment could result in additional AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Some countries have reported reductions in medicine collections of up to 20% in some areas and there have been multiple reports of people living with HIV not having enough antiretroviral medicine for a lockdown of more than 60 days, as well as reports of people having abandoned their HIV treatment due to a lack of food. However, monthly data from January to June 2020 reported by countries to UNAIDS have not shown substantial declines in the numbers of people currently on treatment over the six-month period.” READ MORE

9/21/20: COVID-19 in malaria-endemic regions: potential consequences for malaria intervention coverage, morbidity, and mortality (the lancet infectious diseases)

“Guidance on the need for and importance of testing for malaria and other diseases during the pandemic should be communicated to health-care providers and resources made available to facilitate [the education of healthcare providers and the general population ‘on the potential for misdiagnosis of malaria or COVID-19, as well as the potential for co-occurrence’]. Furthermore, communication of these messages to communities is important to ensure that people with malaria are not scared to visit hospitals and community clinics in fear of misdiagnosis, which could limit their timely access to safe and legitimate antimalarials. In addition, it is worth asking whether there could be an increased risk of mosquito bites for individuals or families observing isolation or quarantine (whether either individually or in groups) that warrants them to stay in the same locality for extended periods, especially if done so in the absence of [insecticide-treated nets]. If so, then perhaps our concern with regard to malaria transmission should also extend to other mosquito-transmitted diseases.” READ MORE

9/21/20: Covid-19 and HIV – So Far It Seems the Outcome Is Not What Was Feared (the conversation – south Africa)

“Concern over HIV-positive patients is understandable. But current data from the COVID-19 pandemic – and past experiences with SARS and MERS – suggest that they do not form an at-risk group. This raises the question of whether HIV serves as an immunological shield against more severe forms of the new disease. What has been quite apparent from the start is that old age and co-morbidities such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes are more telling considerations in both general infections and HIV/SARS-CoV-2 co-infections. Based on what we now know, should a second or even a third wave of COVID-19 be forthcoming, state and health officials should consider a more strategic and targeted approach to containment.” READ MORE

9/21/20: Coronavirus rumours and regulations mar Burkina Faso’s malaria fight (Thomson reuters foundation – burkino faso)

“Now there are fears malaria cases could rise in Burkina Faso as restrictions due to coronavirus slow down a mass treatment campaign and rumours over the virus causing parents to hide their children, according to health workers and aid officials. ‘COVID-19 has the potential to worsen Burkina Faso’s malaria burden,’ said Donald Brooks, head of the U.S. aid group Initiative: Eau, who has worked on several public health campaigns in the country. ‘If preventative campaigns can’t be thoroughly carried out and if people are too scared to come to health centres … it could certainly increase the number of severe cases and the risk of poor outcomes,’ he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.” READ MORE

9/21/20: monsoon fevers are complicating the coronavirus repsonse in rural india (scroll – india)

“‘Every day, we face this problem that people who got admitted to a general ward with suspicion of dengue or malaria turned out to be Covid-positive. Or a person who had a stroke or heart attack, or was scheduled for surgery and did not have any symptoms turns out to be Covid-positive when tested as part of the pre-op assessment. This creates a huge amount of confusion and panic in the system among the healthcare workers treating them, even though we teach them that every person should be assumed to be Covid-positive unless proved otherwise. Given our facilities – old buildings, old infrastructure – it becomes extremely difficult for them to protect themselves and reliably distinguish non-Covid illnesses from Covid’ [SP Kalantri, medical superintendent at Kasturba Gandhi Hospital].” READ MORE

9/20/20: Five strategies for preserving key population-focused HIV programmes in the era of COVID-19 (International aids society)

“Key populations… are particularly vulnerable to HIV service interruptions and additional harm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stigma, discrimination, violence and other human rights violations routinely experienced by key populations will likely worsen, as will unemployment, housing instability and food insecurity. This will compound the obstacles key populations face in accessing services, perhaps making it more likely they will be denied assistance when they seek care. Other important services… may be deprioritized as non-essential. Collectively, these experiences will have far-reaching consequences on mental health, exacerbated by physical distancing, and undermine HIV responses.” READ MORE

9/20/20: africa: rethinking public healthcare systems in africa – a covid-19 reflection (The street journal – nigeria)

“While African governments urgently address the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, they should simultaneously address co-morbidities (particularly diseases presenting with a cough or fever, along with diabetes). Given the known influence of clinical activity and health seeking behaviour on TB and HIV detection, primary healthcare staff need to be alert for these conditions during the C-19 pandemic. Undetected TB and HIV will exacerbate the C-19 death count.” READ MORE

9/19/20: fight against tb has slowed down due to covid-19 pandemic: kj Alphons (yahoo news – india)

“Rajya Sabha MP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader KJ Alphons on Saturday raised the issue of Tuberculosis cases in the country and said that the fight against this infectious disease has slowed down due to coronavirus pandemic. He urged the Centre to work in the direction for treating the people infected with TB. ‘There are 24 lakh Tuberculosis patients in India. Due to the focus on fighting COVID19, the fight against TB has slowed down,’ he said in the Upper House.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India has fixed a deadline of 2025 for eradicating TB against the global deadline of 2030. He has asked MPs to work for its removal.” READ MORE

9/18/20: Patients on ARVs forced to make do with only seven days’ supply as clinics face shortages (health-E NEWS – south africa)

“France Motha is worried about running out of the HIV antiretroviral treatment, as the supply he got at the beginning of September at the Daveyton clinic dwindles. Earlier this month Motha went to the clinic as usual to get his treatment. The clinic gave him some medication and nurses told to come back to get the rest of his prescription was experiencing shortages. The Daveyton was measuring out medication to accommodate all their HIV patients with the little that they have. ‘On Monday the 14th I went back to the clinic to get treatment for myself and wife, but I was given a seven days’ supply for both of us,’ Motha tells Health-e News. Motha says he is very disappointed with the Healthcare system. The limited seven days’ supply means he has to go back to the clinic each week until 14 December.” READ MORE

9/18/20: This Foundation Is Helping LGBTQ+ Community In India To Combat Impact Of COVID-19 (the logical indian – india)

“People from the LGBTQIA+ community, especially those living with HIV are facing barriers in getting their medications. Being able to afford and access medical care is essential for testing of COVID 19 as well as treating the symptoms of the disease. However, LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to lack health coverage or monetary resources to visit a doctor even when medically necessary because of a lack of support and acceptance of us in the society and awareness among doctors. The community is vulnerable to COVID 19 infection, and it continually bothers each one of us that how gay, trans, or non-binary identities will be treated at the isolation facilities as the system remains binary.” READ MORE

9/18/20: COVID-19 Brings jamaican people living with hiv closer together (UNAIDS)

“There are an estimated 32 000 people living with HIV on the Caribbean island. In 2019, just 44% of them were on antiretroviral therapy, while roughly one third (35%) were virally suppressed. While most people access treatment through the public health-care sector, community organizations like JN+ play a key role in supporting people to start antiretroviral therapy and stay the course. They’ve also been a critical partner during COVID-19. Despite having a multimonth dispensing policy, the Jamaica Government has authorized just monthly dispensing in order to avoid stock-outs. ‘Community organizations like JN+ have allayed fears and followed-up so that people continue their treatment,’ said UNAIDS Jamaica Country Director, Manoela Manova. ‘That’s why it’s important that civil society is at the decision-making table and that community workers are classified as essential workers during COVID-19.’” READ MORE

9/18/20: how covid-19 is hampering the fight against hiv (global citizen)

“Besides the lack of testing resources and financial support, COVID-19 is also impacting both the production and distribution of antiretroviral medicines due to lockdowns and border closures, potentially leading to higher prices and stock-outs, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This is happening in South Africa, where 7.7 million HIV-positive people live, the world’s largest number. More than 60% of them depend on the government’s antiretroviral program. ‘Disruptions to these medications is a public health problem,’ Vinyarak Bhardwaj, deputy director of South Africa’s Doctors Without Borders’ program, told the AP. ‘It threatens the poor and most vulnerable.’” READ MORE

9/17/20: covid-19 – Possible human rights crisis in asia as disparities expected to widen (interpress service news agency)

“[Merinda] Sebayang’s organisation [Jaringan Indonesia Positive] surveyed about 1,000 respondents. The results indicated that people living with HIV in Indonesia were finding it challenging to access their medication… While civil society could reduce the impact of the disease, it required working together with government and service providers. She pointed to several successes, like the use of smartphones for the treatment of tuberculosis patients. ‘So, I think there are many, many things that we can do. We have to become more innovative and also have to have strong collaborations with the service providers, the government and also other civil society organisations and try to be inclusive … to find a way to win over this enemy.’” READ MORE

9/17/20: COMMITTMENT TO MAKE ASIA PACIFIC A MALARIA FREE REGION (NEW STRAITS TIMES)

” ‘The Covid-19 pandemic is having a serious impact on the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. Fighting two life-threatening diseases at once requires innovation, inclusion, and collaboration,’ said Amita Chebbi, Senior Director of Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network. ‘For those of us in malaria and global health, this means ensuring that we relentlessly strive to find specific synergies between malaria, pandemic response, and health systems to prevent losing ground and, instead, accelerate our progress towards elimination,’ said Dr Sarthak Das, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA).” READ MORE

9/17/20: NIGERIA: COVID-19 – DON’T NEGLECT TB, OTHER DISEASES (ALL AFRICA)

“Speaking at a TB [tuberculosis] media roundtable in Abuja last week, health experts warned that there is a marked up in the level of neglect on treatment and case finding for Tuberculosis (TB), since the fight against the COVID-19 started. the focal person for TB at the Institute for Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Dr. Aderonke Agbaje, said, tuberculosis has taken a hit with human resources, funds, and materials that have been relocated and realigned to attend to COVID-19 issues. Nigeria cannot continue to be dependent on external donors when it has the capacity to shoulder such responsibility.” READ MORE

9/17/20: Q&A WITH FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT (VESTERGAARD)

“Recognizing the crisis posed by COVID-19 — both as a health challenge in its own right, but also as a potential threat to the viability of programs for HIV, TB and malaria — the Global Fund stepped forward with its COVID-19 Response Mechanism. Given the speed and ferocity with which the COVID-19 pandemic has spread, public leaders will inevitably be tempted to divert funds from other health priorities to address COVID-19. This would be a tragic mistake. One recent modeling study found that disruption of malaria control programs due to COVID-19 could cause malaria incidence to double, potentially leading to an additional 81,000 malaria deaths in Nigeria alone. Rather than divert critical funding from essential health programs to pay for COVID-19 responses, our public leaders need to summon the will to increase investments in health programs generally.” READ MORE

9/16/20: MALARIA VECTOR CONTROL IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY (BMJ JOURNAL)

“The increasing demand for resources to curb COVID-19 and the curtailment of economic activities driven by the pandemic could lead to substantial reductions in government revenues, undermining their ability to finance essential social services, including life-saving malaria vector control interventions. During the pandemic, these interventions may be hindered by reallocation of limited resources to COVID-19 response and disruptions in supply chains of IRS [indoor residual spraying] insecticides and ITN [chiefly insecticide-treated nets]. In Nigeria, the SSA country with the highest population at risk of malaria (>200 million people), only 11.1% of the 22.7 million nets in the distribution plans have been so far distributed. There could be up to a fourfold increase in malaria mortality in the region within the next year or more malaria deaths in 2020 than all malaria deaths reported globally in 2000. This would represent rolling back 20 years of progress in malaria control.” READ MORE

September 2020: 2020 goalkeepers report: covid 19: A global perspective (bill & Melinda Gates FOundation)

The 2020 Goalkeepers Report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation lays out the concern that an “expanded pool of undiagnosed [TB] infections will lead to a long-term increase in the number of TB cases around the world. As they come out of COVID, countries are going to have to make case-finding—and funding—for TB a major priority.” The report also claims that “modeling… helped many countries decide to continue bed net campaigns despite COVID-19, ensuring that, so far, the backsliding in 2020 has been less severe than it might have been.” On the topic of HIV, the report states that “disruptions to health services could mean people don’t get antiretroviral therapy (ART), which would result in more deaths and more infections (because viral loads are higher in untreated patients, they are more likely to transmit to others). So far, this worst-case scenario has not happened, although some countries are struggling to maintain services.” READ MORE

9/16/20: SCHOOL CLOSURES HEIGHTEN THE RISKS OF UNWANTED PREGNANCY AND CONTRACTING HIV FOR ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN (AIDSPAN)

“Teenage pregnancy is an indicator that young people are engaging in unprotected sex. While not all who engage in unprotected sex get HIV, unprotected sex puts them at risk of contracting HIV. Besides placing a huge burden on already overstretched health systems due to COVID-19, an unprecedented surge in teenage pregnancies may erode the gains made in the fight against HIV.” READ MORE

9/16/20: a cataclysm of hunger, disease, and illiteracy (new york times)

“We think of Covid-19 as killing primarily the elderly around the world, but in poor countries it is more cataclysmic than that. It is killing children through malnutrition. It is leading more people to die from tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS. It is forcing girls out of school and into child marriages. It is causing women to die in childbirth. It is setting back efforts to eradicate polio, fight malaria and reduce female genital mutilation. It is leading to lapses in vitamin A distribution that will cause more children to suffer blindness and die.” READ MORE

9/16/20: Opinion: COVID-19 is a turning point for infectious diseases (DEVEx)

“To protect hard-won gains and to sustain momentum, we must massively increase collaboration, resources, and innovation. We must also apply the lessons we learned from fighting HIV, TB, and malaria to maximize our effectiveness in combating the new virus.

The fights against these three diseases show how a united world, led by strong communities, can drive even the most formidable infectious diseases into retreat. The deaths they have caused have dropped by nearly half since the peak of the epidemics in countries where the Global Fund invests.” READ MORE

9/16/20: Containment of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and implications for tuberculosis care and research (infectious Diseases of poverty – ethiopia)

“COVID-19 has a significant impact on [TB] studies. The studies require screening patients with TB and testing using different diagnostic modalities. Here, patients are not coming to healthcare facilities for a fear of COVID-19, and on the other side, TB services are marginally delivered and some sites stopped their routine services. For instance, one of the EXIT-TB study sites has been selected and prepared as a COVID-19 treatment center. Some patients on ant-TB treatment, their healthcare providers, and patients’ charts and have been transferred to nearby health facilities which are not in the study. TB services could sustain with this approach but significantly affect the researches. Research funding agencies do recognize the challenges and are looking for different mechanisms for the successful completion of such projects. For instance, [European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership] vowed to accept a no-cost extension of research projects on top of all these difficulties, we believe that researchers’ commitment should not be overwhelmed by COVID-19 and that they should look for options to complete started researches successfully or initiate new researches in the era of COVID-19.” READ MORE

9/16/20: Central African Republic: In the time of COVID-19, malaria is still the biggest child killer (doctors without borders – central african republic)

“To mitigate the impact of this deadly disease and protect the community, MSF [Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders] launched a targeted campaign of preventative treatment – also known as a mass drug administration – for malaria at the beginning of the rainy season. In order to reach a maximum number of people and to make sure that the population understood the importance of this initiative, the campaign was run in three stages. First, MSF raised awareness of the campaign with the help of community leaders and by broadcasting spots on the local radio. Next, the team went door-to-door to distribute the preventative treatment. And, finally, they returned to each household to check if people had taken the treatment and to identify any side effects. By taking the medication to people in their own homes, they avoided the risk of crowds gathering at distribution sites and potentially spreading COVID-19. The MSF teams also adopted protective measures such as wearing masks and keeping a safe distance between individuals.” READ MORE

9/15/20: COVID-19 HAMPERS THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, WITH THE SOUTH FACING BIG CHALLENGES (CHICAGO SUN TIMES)

“HIV workers in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas all say they have seen a drop in HIV testing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Some fell back into drug and alcohol abuse. Others feared the AIDS virus made them more vulnerable to the coronavirus and refused to leave their homes. Mildred Harper, who is HIV-positive, was too afraid to go to a Jackson, Mississippi, hospital in April for a blood test to check on her HIV treatment. Lee Storrow tried to get an HIV test in North Carolina in June, but staff at the clinic he contacted said they were focused on testing for COVID-19. At sites run by the Birmingham-based social services organization AIDS Alabama, testing is down roughly 75%, from about 30 tests a week before the pandemic to 30 tests a month now amid a drop in walk-in clients, said Tony Christon-Walker, the organization’s director of prevention and community partnerships.” READ MORE

9/15/20: Call for more UK aid to go on basic health services in world’s poorest countries (the telegraph – uk)

“Katie Husselby, author of the Action for Global Health report, said that the UK had a strong record in areas such as reducing child and maternal mortality and fighting the three big infectious disease killers HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. ‘The cuts to the development budget have still not been specified but we have to make the assumption that areas that were not listed [in the letter] may be at risk,’ she said. She added that the focus on Covid may mean that other areas get missed out. ‘The fear is that Covid has come to represent global health to the UK government. But that doesn’t take into account the huge indirect impact Covid will have on areas such as maternal and child health, malaria, TB and HIV. Focusing solely on the Covid response will risk a huge reversal of progress in all these other health areas,’ she said.” READ MORE

9/15/20: The Impact of COVID-19 on the TB Epidemic: A Community Perspective (TB Civil society ORGANIZATIONS)

“The impacts of COVID-19 are not being felt equally across or within countries. Prior to the pandemic, every year, around 100 million people were pushed into poverty because of healthcare-associated costs, and half the world’s population did not have access to the healthcare they needed. These already vulnerable populations are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are the same people hit hardest by TB: children, people living with HIV/AIDS, mobile populations (migrants and refugees), indigenous groups, miners, prisoners, and people who use drugs. We know that the challenges and barriers to accessing both COVID-19 and TB services disproportionately affect those who are most vulnerable and/or already marginalized. This impact is a particular concern from the perspective of human rights, stigma, and gender.” READ MORE

9/15/20: Africa’s Covid-19 slow burn: A warning against complacency (maverick citizen – South Africa)

“Boulle says given higher death rates from other illnesses – tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa – ‘it is possible that the mortality experience due to Covid-19 is less noteworthy and probably largely undocumented.’ However, while the ‘slow burn’ development of the pandemic might be less immediately devastating, it will require sustained resources over a longer period. There is also a high risk of health worker fatigue.” READ MORE

8/20/20: Impact of the societal response to COVID-19 on access to healthcare for non-COVID-19 health issues in slum communities of Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan: results of pre-COVID and COVID-19 lockdown stakeholder engagements (bmj global health)

“Pre-COVID, stakeholders described various preventive, diagnostic and treatment services, including well-used antenatal and immunisation programmes and some screening for hypertension, tuberculosis, HIV and vector borne disease. In all sites, pharmacists and patent medicine vendors were key providers of treatment and advice for minor illnesses. Mental health services and those addressing gender-based violence were perceived to be limited or unavailable. With COVID-19, a reduction in access to healthcare services was reported in all sites, including preventive services. Cost of healthcare increased while household income reduced. Residents had difficulty reaching healthcare facilities. Fear of being diagnosed with COVID-19 discouraged healthcare seeking.” READ MORE

9/15/20: THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS TAKING A TOLL ON THE INTERNATIONAL TUBERCULOSIS RESPONSE, NEW SURVEY FINDS (FORBES)

“India, which has the world’s highest burden of tuberculosis and records around 2.6 million new cases each year, has seen around 50% drop in notifications of new cases since March when the government announced a complete nation-wide lockdown. Around 21 out of the 58 Indian tuberculosis patients said in the survey that the health facilities they normally visit were closed. Seven out of ten healthcare workers who participated in the survey reported a decrease in the number of people coming to health facilities for Tuberculosis testing.” READ MORE

9/15/2020: PEOPLE WITH HIV FACE NEW CHALLENGES TO CARE CONTINUITY DURING COVID LOCKDOWN (THE BODY)

“Some of the greatest challenges to health care during lockdown for people with HIV come from issues not directly related to HIV, such as mental health. “At the beginning of the lockdown, I was too depressed to do anything,” Luis, a community gardener and part-time yoga teacher in New York, told me on WhatsApp. Lockdown has also affected Luis’ primary HIV health care. “I haven’t seen my primary-care physician since about January,” Luis said. [He also states] “I am also less interested in keeping up with my HIV regimen.” Many people with HIV struggle with anxiety, depression, insomnia, fear, and panic on a regular basis. Lockdown has made dealing with these issues more difficult, both because the pandemic itself is inherently stressful and because mental health services, including medications, have become less available and less accessible during the pandemic.” READ MORE

9/15/20: COVID-19 PUSHES 37 MILLION PEOPLE INTO EXTREME POVERTY: REPORT (XINHUA NET)

HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients are the other groups that are worst affected by the pandemic, according to the report. ‘Current evidence shows that people living with HIV are at increased risk of death due to COVID-19. Before COVID-19, there were already three million ‘missing cases’ of TB: people with active TB who didn’t know it and were passing the disease to others while going untreated themselves. Now, that number will grow even larger as people either cannot go to health facilities for diagnosis or choose not to go to avoid the possibility of exposure to COVID-19,’ notes the report dubbed COVID-19, A Global Perspective.” READ MORE

9/14/20: NEW CASES OF HIV IN SAN FRANCISCO DROPPED 19% IN 2019 (POZ)

“New HIV cases continue to decline in San Francisco. Last year, 166 people were diagnosed with HIV in the city, marking a 19% decrease from 2018, when 204 people were diagnosed. This is the lowest level the city has seen. According to The Bay Area Reporter, new cases dropped across population groups, including Black and Latino men, a cohort that had seen upticks in HIV rates. The good news was tempered, however, by concerns that COVID-19 and related disruptions (including health care and HIV prevention efforts) could threaten the encouraging drop in diagnoses.” READ MORE

9/14/2020: THE PANDEMIC IS CAUSING INNUMERABLE PROBLEMS, INCLUDING CHALLENGES TO HIV PREVENTION (HIV PLUS)

“ ‘People are struggling with uptake because people are having less in-person doctor’s visits to see if they’re good candidates for PrEP. They’re not having the ability to talk to providers about barriers to adherence. When you can’t go out to the pharmacy, refilling that prescription is more difficult. There are employment issues, health insurance issues; hoops to jump through when you don’t have insurance,’ [says Giffin Daughtridge].“ READ MORE

9/14/20: 25 YEARS WIPED OUT IN 25 WEEKS: PANDEMIC SETS THE WORLD BACK DECADES (POLITICO)

“In only half a year, the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out decades of global development in everything from health to the economy. Global action to stop the pandemic would prevent illness and deaths caused by Covid-19, but there’s more at stake: The crisis sets back strides made in global poverty, HIV transmission, malnutrition, gender equality, education and many more areas. ‘in some developing countries, reversing the economic downturn may take longer because they don’t have the ability to invest as much money in their economies as rich countries, Suzman [CEO of the Gates Foundations] said.” READ MORE

9/14/20: 92% covid patients in india are asymptomatic, health minister harsh vardhan tells lok sabha (The print– India)

“[Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan] also spoke about the shift in focus from only Covid to other diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, which ended up being partially neglected during the lockdown. ‘We have now moved from ‘managing travel-related cases’ to containing clusters and large outbreaks due to local transmission to wide spread of infection to urban, peri-urban and rural areas. This would require concerted effort by the government with people’s participation to prevent large scale morbidity and mortality,’ Dr Harsh Vardhan said. ’Equally crucial is to maintain the success achieved in management of reproductive maternal and child health, vaccine preventable diseases, non-communicable diseases, tuberculosis, vector borne diseases such as Kala Azar and Malaria. Hence, there is an increased thrust for managing non-Covid essential services,’ the minister said. In a communication with the states on 4 September, the Government of India had expressed apprehension that India could be looking at over [500,000] more TB cases and over [150,000] TB deaths in the next five years because of the transfer of both resources and manpower from the TB control programme to Covid.” READ MORE

9/14/20: Absent Patients Sound Alarm Bells for South African DoctoR (Bloomberg Quint – South AFRICA)

“Tuberculosis hospitals have isolation wards that can be adapted easily for Covid-19 patients, so it made sense. Still, the move resulted in most patients being directed to other hospitals that are at least an hour-and-a-half drive away, and widespread poverty meant that many people opted to go home instead. The damage that’s done in the community will only become clear in a few months’ time, according to {Dr Marthinus] Du Plessis. ‘After a few months you realize that a lot of the familiar faces aren’t there anymore,’ he said. ‘You make the assumption that a lot of these people passed away at home because they never made it to a hospital. To send sick people home to accommodate often asymptomatic Covid-19 patients makes no sense.’” READ MORE

9/14/20: How COVID-19 Is Indirectly Killing Mothers and Babies (spiegel international – denmark)

“ ‘Many vaccinations and checkups, both before and after giving birth, are omitted completely,’ says Rebekka Frick. ‘That will have horrific consequences and put great strain on health systems for some time to come.’ Whether measles, tuberculosis or malaria, coronavirus threatens to significantly hamstring efforts to combat other life-threatening diseases around the world. Medical professionals and NGOs are concerned that millions will die in the coming months and years not from of the coronavirus, but from its consequences – or from other, treatable diseases, because, for example, they avoid going to the doctor for a simple vaccination.” READ MORE

9/11/20: ‘Healthcare System In Rural India Is A Cause Of Concern,’ Says Public Healthcare Expert Amid COVID-19 Pandemic (BANEGA SWASTH – INDIA )

“’What about routine immunisation? What about maternal and child health? What happens to Tuberculosis? What happens to people with malaria or cancer or Diabetes? By only focusing on COVID-19, we haven’t done enough to resume normal healthcare services so that mortality is lowered because the death rate in India is not just COVID-19. Because people are dying from untreated Diabetes or untreated TB. We must get a handle on it and we must resume routine health services in every place, rural and urban’ [Dr Madhukar Pai, Epidemiologist, Director of The McGill International TB Centre].” READ MORE

9/11/20: 2 died and a total of 3,099 malaria cases have been reported across Mumbai (afternoon voice – INDia )

“’Due to the lockdown, all the migrant workers from the Metro construction sites have gone back. So, no one has cleaned the accumulated stagnant water which has turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes,’ [Dr. Virendra Mohite, medical officer] said. Rajan Naringrekar, chief of [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation]’s insecticide department explained that during monsoon, water gets inside the houses at [Bombay Development Department (BMC)] Chawl in G-South. As a large number of people have left the city due to the pandemic, the rainwater lies stagnant, thereby making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes. ‘We can’t forcefully enter anyone’s house for fumigation. As a result, people living in the surrounding areas are getting malaria,’ he said.” READ MORE

9/11/20: pandemic a boon for digital health services (The star – kenya )

“Six months into the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya, close to 20,000 Kenyans have missed hospital visits for surgeries, according to the Ministry of Health. Thousands more shunned health facilities for treatment of other diseases. Health CAS Rashid Aman says malaria is the most affected. He says the number of patients seeking treatment for malaria has decreased by two thirds compared to a similar period last year.” READ MORE

9/10/20: India’s Health ‘Time Bomb’ Keeps Ticking, and It’s Not Covid-19 (BLOOMberg – India )

“More than 65 million people in India live in densely packed and poorly ventilated slums like Dharavi in Mumbai, one of the biggest in Asia, which has long struggled with tuberculosis before it became a coronavirus hotspot. The fact that both TB and Covid-19 have a significant overlap in symptoms — breathlessness, cough, fever — make these areas critical to controlling both diseases. The strict stay-at-home orders the country enforced at the end of March shut down India’s giant tuberculosis program for almost three months. In April, one million fewer received the BCG vaccine that prevents severe tuberculosis, government data shows. ‘There should’ve been bi-directional screening from the beginning, because in checking for one you may be missing the other,’ said Chapal Mehra, a public health specialist and author of ‘Tuberculosis – India’s Ticking Time Bomb.’” READ MORE

9/10/20: governments need $70m to fill malariA financing gap (The new times – rwanda )

“[Dr. Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, Head of the Malaria and other Parasitic Infections Unit at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre] said that the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic had not derailed the government’s dedication to fighting malaria. ‘Our efforts to fight malaria have actually increased, focusing mostly on protective measures. By the time Covid-19 got to Rwanda, we had already started our program to distribute treated mosquito nets all over the country and we haven’t stopped,’ he said.” READ MORE

9/10/20: What’s the most dangerous disease? Hint: It’s not novel coronavirus (China global televison network )

“As it was calculated by influential non-government organization Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with Imperial College, Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University, and the United States Agency For International Development, a three-month lockdown in different parts of the world and a gradual return to normal over 10 months could result in an additional 6.3 million tuberculosis cases and additional 1.4 million deaths from it. It now seems likely that the indicated time frames will last much longer. The pandemic is also shrinking the supply of diagnostic tests and drugs against tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and other killers as pharmaceutical companies turn to make more expensive medicines to detect and fight the coronavirus.” READ MORE

9/10/20: mozambique situation report, 10 September 2020 (relief web – mozambique)

“Prior to COVID-19, multiple disease outbreaks—including cholera and malaria—were already stretching Mozambique’s weak health systems and 94 health centres were damaged during the cyclones. In Cabo Delgado, over 1,500 cumulative cases of cholera and 25 cumulative deaths have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak in January 2020 until the end of July. Critical services—such as sexual and reproductive health care, immunization activities and continuity of care for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and cholera—are expected to be disrupted as resources shift to the COVID-19 response, potentially increasing maternal and infant deaths.” READ MORE

9/10/20: $28.5BN NEEDED TO CORRECT EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON HIV, TB, MALARIA GLOBALLY (LEADERSHIP – NIGERIA)

“Deaths from HIV, TB and Malaria could almost double in 12 Months unless urgent action is taken. Stop TB Partnership, Nigeria, stakeholders noted that Nigeria has a huge gap of about 60 per cent of the required funding for TB and that the bulk of the funding was still donor dependent. While it has been reiterated that the Nigerian government cannot tackle the huge burden posed by TB alone, stakeholders said collective effort at both national and state levels to fund TB case management in Nigeria, would go a long way. ‘We need commitment across all levels of people, those who work in and outside the health sector. There is a need for us to remember that we have other deadly diseases that are threatening us and can be further enabled by COVID. We need to put in place measures to fund and control diseases of public health significance, like HIV, Malaria, and TB, otherwise, there could be a post-COVID-19 health crisis in Nigeria,’ [The Country Director of Health Policy Plus, Frances Illika] added.” READ MORE

9/9/20: NIGERIA: TUBERCULOSIS KILLING NIGERIANS MORE THAN CORONAVIRUS – EXPERTS (DAILY TRUST – NIGERIA)

“Dr Adebola Lawanson, National Coordinator, Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, said the COVID-19 outbreak in the country increased TB morbidity and mortality, and also affected TB case finding. She said the pandemic also reinforced stigma for sufferers, increased transmission of TB, and affected access to drugs for patients and health facilities. Frances Ilika Country Director, Health Policy Plus (HP+), said there was a need for increased domestic funding for TB to avoid secondary crises, increased private sector investment in TB control as well as accountability on funding.” READ MORE

9/9/20: HIV and COVID-19: a unique moment in time to learn, leverage and build resilient systems for health (UNAIDS)

“’COVID-19 has caused significant loss of life in many communities, but notably in those where inequities make people more vulnerable to ill health. Leveraging of the HIV infrastructure and workforce has helped to mitigate what might have been a far worse situation,’ said José M. Zuniga, President/Chief Executive Officer of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care and co-organizer of the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 event with UNAIDS. ‘However, with current HIV spending substantially off-track, the world urgently needs to increase investments in the responses to both HIV and COVID-19 and not siphon off one to respond to the other.’” READ MORE

9/9/20: COVID-19 could reverse decades of progress toward eliminating preventable child deaths, agencies warn (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION)

“Over the past 30 years, health services to prevent or treat causes of child death such as preterm, low birthweight, complications during birth, neonatal sepsis, pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, as well as vaccination, have played a large role in saving millions of lives. Now countries worldwide are experiencing disruptions in child and maternal health services, such as health checkups, vaccinations and prenatal and post-natal care, due to resource constraints and a general uneasiness with using health services due to a fear of getting COVID-19” READ MORE

9/8/20: tuberculosis – experts call for more case finding amidst covid-19 crisis (premium times – NIGERIA)

“The National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), Adebola Lawanson, noted that there has not been sufficient progress made in TB case finding due to COVID-19. She said that TB, like other diseases, has been worst hit during this period due to resource relocation and realignment for COVID-19. She explained that the lack of access to health facilities during the lockdown period contributed to the increase in TB cases in the country. ‘There is an increase in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis as the impact of COVID-19 affected health facilities, monitoring and drug supervision for TB patients, while health care workers were not willing to carry out TB case finding.’” READ MORE

9/8/20: Providing HIV treatment to people living with HIV stranded in foreign countries in Middle East and North Africa region during the COVID-19 pandemic (UNAIDS)

“Due to COVID-19 people living with HIV around the world, including the Middle East and North Africa region, are encountering difficulties to access HIV treatment, especially when they are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country due to travel restrictions. ‘I came to Egypt on 1 March on a business trip and my plan was to leave on 4 April. Due to the COVID-19 and the closing of the airports, I had to extend my stay in Egypt. Unfortunately, my medication is not available in Egypt,’ said Hammad.” READ MORE

9/8/20: covid patients in noida now battle dengue, malaria (times of india)

“THE CMO [Contract Manufacturing Organization] has also issued instructions that strict compliance of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) have to be followed with regard to any data release on the diseases. ‘All COVID positive patients at private hospitals who are infected with any of the vector-borne disease should be treated according to the guidelines, including use of mosquito nets and in a separate area of the hospital so as to prevent spread of infection. Also, only the CMO and the district magistrate is authorized to declare the number of cases of dengue and malaria,’ said Dr Deepak Ohri, CMO, GB Nagar. The district malaria officer (DMO) Dr Rajesh Sharma said that the number of dengue and malaria cases are less so far. ‘The numbers are far less than last year mostly because of the pandemic and fear of infection among the people,’ he added.’” READ MORE

9/8/20: south mumbai reports 75 per cent of total malaria cases in city (The free press journal – India)

“’In areas like Dhobi Ghat the regular operations are stalled now. Due to this water bodies at these places have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As most of the people have gone back to their hometowns, the BMC is unable to fumigate such areas completely,’ said local corporator Samadhan Sarvankar. BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] leader of opposition and Congress corporator, Ravi Raja suggested that since the cases of malaria and dengue are on the rise amid the pandemic outbreak, the civic body needs to form categorised [outpatient departments] in its hospitals. ‘Due to fear of Covid-19, people are becoming apprehensive about getting themselves admitted in the hospitals. The BMC can make separate wards for malaria and dengue treatment which will make the treatment process more systematic” Raja told [The Free Press Journal].’” READ MORE

9/8/20: NAMIBIA: 12,507 MALARIA CASES, 40 DEATHS RECORDED THIS YEAR AMID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (ALL AFRICA)

“Malaria cases this year increased by 440.2% compared to 2841 cases recorded in 2019 and reduced when compared to 2018 cases of 31,000, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health availed. “The COVID 19 regulations have slowed down the implementation of program activities due to restriction on people movement, gatherings of more than 10 people and delayed delivery of antimalarial commodities, resulting in some program activities being canceled,” the ministry concluded. The National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme from the health ministry which monitors the weekly malaria situation in the country shows that this year alone 12,507 malaria cases where recorded, while 40 deaths occurred.” READ MORE

9/8/20: FIVE WARDS IN SOUTH MUMBAI RECORD 70% OF CITY’S TOTAL MALARIA CASES (HINDUSTAN TIMES)

“As the city witnesses a rise in Covid-19 cases, it is also reporting an increase in malaria cases. Data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows that the five wards in south Mumbai — G South, E, F South, G North and D — account for 2,157 of the total 3,099 malaria cases. Of the five wards with the most malaria cases, G-south (Lower Parel, Worli and Elphinstone) has reported the maximum number of cases, with 1,055 patients till August 31. E ward (Mumbai Central, Byculla, Kamathipura) recorded 478 malaria cases while the count in F South (Parel) was 267 cases. G North (Dadar, Mahim and Dharavi), which has recorded the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases (8,748), reported 233 malaria cases. D ward (Grant Road) has 124 cases.” READ MORE

9/8/20: CASE FINDING MAJOR CHALLENGE IN NIGERIA’S TB RESPONSE, SAYS STOP TB PARTNERSHIP (THE SUN – NIGERIA)

“The STOP TB partnership Nigeria is a multi-stakeholder partnership dedicated to the cause of ending scourge of Tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria has registered its frustrations with the unwillingness of TB carriers to report themselves to health care facilities for examination and treatment. ‘Tuberculosis has really taken a hit in this regard with human resources, funds, and materials that have been relocated and realigned to attend to COVID-19 issues. We have had the GeneXpert machines, HIV laboratories, being redeployed to support the COVID-19 response’ [the focal person for TB at the Institute for Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Dr. Aderonke Agbaje, states].” READ MORE

9/8/20: ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL IN AFRICA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE (BUSINESS DAY)

“Precarious health systems are not able to withstand shocks such as disease outbreaks, evidenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a function of a combination of funding shortages, suboptimal resource allocation and corruption. The people, institutions and resources needed to deliver health related services are only performing at 49% of their potential capacity. About 80% of Africans in the middle-income bracket and below rely on public health facilities. Leading killers on the continent, often described as the “big three” include malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. About 50% of under-five deaths in Africa are caused by pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Undetected TB and HIV will exacerbate the Covid-19 death count.” READ MORE

9/6/20: Deputy President David Mabuza: ‘Our plans to fix Eskom are working’ (biz news – South Africa)

“’By offering HIV self-screening at COVID-19 screening sites, the Department of Health is able to reach people who would otherwise be missed by their standard HIV programmes.

Community health workers across the country, are screening for the coronavirus whilst conducting their normal door-to-door HIV and TB monitoring work, such as ensuring that patients are taking their antiretroviral medicines. Our Government and its partner donors, including the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Response and the United Nations Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, are leveraging on existing resources in order to assist in the COVID-19 response. This is done while ensuring that HIV and TB services remain accessible to those who need them. The HIV and TB programmes have integrated HIV testing and TB screening into the COVID-19 response’ [David Mabuza, Deputy President of South Africa; Deputy President of the African National Congress].” READ MORE

9/4/20: COVID 19 SETS HIV TREATMENT AND TESTING BACK (MAIL & GUARDIAN – South africa)

“About 1.6-million HIV tests were conducted in March. In April that number dipped to just fewer than 690 000 tests, just after the lockdown was instituted at the end of the previous month.

Additionally, more than twice as many people tested for HIV in April last year compared to this year, showing one of the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on access to healthcare services. HIV testing services in public clinics and hospitals were not shut down during lockdown, because these facilities were considered essential services. However, the restrictions of movement resulted in a decrease in HIV testing, because community testing stopped.” READ MORE

9/4/20: We should prioritize tb efforts during this time of covid-19 (NATION – KENYA)

“Adherence to a regular treatment schedule is essential to curing TB. Patients who do not have consistent access to the medicines and support needed to ensure adherence during the COVID-19 pandemic may not be cured and may develop TB drug-resistance, which is more difficult to treat and would allow for the continued spread of TB. All of these developments make it clear that it is more important than ever to increase funding to combat TB. The congressional appropriations subcommittees for foreign aid have shown strong bipartisan support for global health, providing significant funding for programs fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria. However, TB still remains among the most underfunded of our major disease programs, even though it now kills more people than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.” READ MORE

9/4/20: WE CAN’t fight COVID-19 ON A COUNTRY BY COUNTRY BASIS (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN)

“[Deaths] are rising, and some are from COVID-19, but many more result from people unable to afford transportation to the hospital as a result of worsening economic conditions, or delaying treatment until it’s too late. That includes people with minor problems—like my patient with a simple urinary tract infection who was afraid to come to the hospital—and those seeking treatment for serious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB).” READ MORE

9/4/20: TAMIL NADU COVID-19 WRAP: 50 LAKH RT-PCR TESTS CONDUCTED TILL DATE; SBP STABLE AND RESPONSIVE, SAYS HOSPITAL (THE INDIAN EXPRESS – INDIA

“To ensure that tuberculosis patients remain safe at home during the lockdown, the Tamil Nadu [TN] government helped deliver vital drugs to over 52,000 affected people at their doorsteps. In addition to providing them with medicines, the government has been continuously monitoring their health condition, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami [EPS] said on Thursday. Taking to Twitter, EPS said the government had provided the medicines throughout the treatment period for 52,489 TB patients. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar tweeted, ‘TN Health has done a commendable job in taking care of TB Pts across the state during Covid. [Anti-tubercular treatment (ATT)] drugs were stocked & distributed promptly for 52,489 TB pts since March’20.’” READ MORE

9/4/20: MUMBAI: ALONGSIDE COVID-19, MALARIA AND DENGUE CASES ALSO ON THE RISE IN SEVERAL WARDS (THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL – INDIA)

“Doctors said that cases of malaria and dengue have increased because of the incessant rainfall that has lashed Mumbai in August. ‘It is due to the rainfall in August that the mosquito bred diseases have risen. I am getting average three cases of Malaria in two days,’ said Dr. Sudhir Awasthi, a medical practitioner based in Andheri and Bandra. ‘With COVID-19 still there, people are afraid to get themselves to hospital, so instead of shutting the COVID care facilities, if the [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)] can turn them into facilities for treating those with Malaria and Dengue, it can be of great help for us,’ said the doctor.’” READ MORE

9/4/20: SOUTH AFRICA: PROVINCES INCLUDE HIV, TB SCREENING AT COVID-19 SITES (SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY – SOUTH AFRICA)

“‘By offering HIV self-screening at COVID-19 screening sites, the Department of Health is able to reach people who would otherwise be missed by their standard HIV programmes. ‘Community health workers across the country are screening for the coronavirus whilst conducting their normal door-to-door HIV and TB monitoring work, such as ensuring that patients are taking their antiretroviral medicines,’ [David Mabuza, Deputy President of South Africa and Deputy President of the African National Congress] said on Thursday.” READ MORE

9/4/20: OPINION: ANOTHER CASUALTY OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – PROGRESS ON AIDS (CAIXIN GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE)

“‘This pandemic has greatly increased the dangers faced by people living with and affected by HIV. In the last few months they have had to deal with disruptions to HIV treatment and prevention services, over-burdened health systems, not being able to feed their families, and an abuse of rights, while living with an increased fear about their vulnerability to COVID-19.’ [Tim Martineau, Deputy Executive Director at Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS]” READ MORE

9/4/20: GUYANA’S HIV FOOD BANK COMES TO THE RESCUE DURING COVID-19 (UNAIDS – GUYANA)

“‘HIV treatment will fail if people don’t have food—healthy food. The fact that Guyana has been able to respond immediately to alleviate food security challenges and thus protect the well-being of people living with HIV right from the outset of the humanitarian crisis demonstrates the value of making psychosocial support investments integral to our regular treatment programme,’ [Michel de Groulard, UNAIDS Country Director for Guyana and Suriname] said. ‘It makes countries and communities more resilient, more agile and better prepared to respond to crises.’” READ MORE

9/3/20: POSITIVE EFFECT OF COVID: VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES SEE A SHARP DECLINE IN AHMEDABAD (THE INDIAN EXPRESS – INDIA)

“ ‘Increased awareness on cleanliness, hygiene, mosquito related information such as water storage helped in controlling vector-borne diseases,’ said [Rajesh] Sharma. He added that ‘earlier people would not pay attention to community information through radio, leaflets, etc., but during lockdown, they paid attention to those. Also, cleaning homes and surroundings was a means to kill time helped.’ The authorities are crediting the Dhanvantri Raths [a mobile van that offers health services] for the positive effect as they started covering vector-borne diseases apart from Covid-19.” READ MORE

9/3/20: FILLING THE VACUUM: HOW CIVIL SOCIETY IS BATTLING COVID-19 IN CAMEROON (COMMENTARY) (MONGABAY – CAMEROON)

“The knock-on effects are being felt sharply in Cameroon today: remittances from abroad have dramatically fallen; the distribution of malaria-preventing mosquito nets to rural communities has slowed; informal sector livelihoods have been choked by the lockdown; health serves, already fragile, are overstretched and less effective. The restrictions that the government imposed in March have now eased, but the work of civil society dealing with the fallout from COVID-19 is only just beginning.” READ MORE

9/2/20: with all eyes on covid-19, malaria cases in mumbai rose in august: BMC data (Hindustan Times – India)

“Even as civic officials are struggling to control the spread of Covid-19 cases, mosquito-borne malaria is now posing another challenge, with a rise in the number of cases to 1,137 in August, compared to 824 in August 2019. Most cases are being reported from G-South (Worli, Lower Parel, Prabhadevi), G-North (Dharavi, Dadar), M-East (Chembur) and E (Byculla) wards, which have also reported a large number of Covid-19 cases. Last month, for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recorded two deaths, where the duo was suffering from a combination of malaria and the coronavirus infection. These two deaths – from G-North and M-East civic wards, which were once hot spots for Covid-19 infection – broke the city’s decade-long record of zero fatalities due to malaria.” READ MORE

9/2/20: COVID-19 pushing other priorities aside (The citizen – Tanzania)

“Since the coronavirus swept the world the battles against tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/Aids have been slowed down, partly because of peoples’ worries about visiting health clinics, many of which have been closed for fear of contagion. It’s estimated that about 80 percent of programs have been disrupted. One in four people being treated for HIV have reported problems in getting hold of their medications. In India diagnosis of TB cases has dropped by nearly 75 percent. In country after country the coronavirus has resulted in sharp drops in diagnosing TB: a 70 percent decline in Indonesia, 50 percent in Mozambique and South Africa and 20 percent in China.” READ MORE

9/2/20: South sudan: Malaria Leaves 100 dead in South Sudan (the East African – South Sudan)

“‘Malaria accounts for 42 per cent of [outpatient department] consultations representing a 45 per cent increase from week 27 of June, 2020,’ [Dr. Wamala Joseph Francis, WHO’S Country Preparedness and International Health Regulation Officer] said. ‘This proportion may be affected by the current triage of patients due to Covid-19. ARI proportional morbidity in 2020 is lower compared to the corresponding period of 2019.’ According to [a joint report from South Sudan’s Ministry of Health and WHO], cases of malaria are mainly attributed to the continued flooding in [South Sudan] due to heavy rains.” READ MORE 

9/1/20: South Africa: Back-to-school in the time of covid-19 Poses Major Challenges for south african teachers (Radio France Internationale – South Africa)

“ ‘At Ekukhanyeni Special needs school in the Pietermaritzburg area of KwaZulu-Natal Province, the attendance is even lower–at about 20 percent since the school opened last week,’ says teacher Thembi Nesemare. ‘The majority of children, although they have disabilities, some have underlying conditions, too, like HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, and chronic chest infections. That’s why they haven’t brought those students to school,’ she says.” READ MORE

9/1/20: REFUGEE CAMPS HAVE AVOIDED THE WORST OF THE PANDEMIC. THAT COULD BE ABOUT TO CHANGE. (THE WASHINGTON POST)

“Since cases first emerged in Kenya in March, the country’s two main refugee camps, Kakuma and Dadaab, have been largely sealed off. Health-care staff, already dealing with seasonal malaria and cholera outbreaks, have worked to educate residents about the coronavirus, prepare isolation areas and bolster stockpiles of protective gear.” READ MORE

9/1/20: HOW WERE HIV CARE SERVICES IN SOUTH CAROLINA INTERRUPTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? (AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MANAGED CARE)

“Results from a recent study out of South Carolina, which examined how its HIV service care continuum was affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19), show that more than a quarter (26%) of HIV clinics had to shut their doors completely and over half (56%) experienced partial service interruptions, reports the study in AIDS and Behavior.” READ MORE

August 2020: TB Research Investments Provide Returns in Combating Both TB and COVID-19 (Treatment action group policy brief)

“New diagnostic, treatment, and prevention tools for TB are urgently needed to put the world on track to meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals to end the TB epidemic by 2030.3 However, COVID-19 and responses to it are complicating and disrupting critical TB research efforts underway. Sustained and expanded investment in TB R&D is urgently needed to fortify TB research efforts against COVID-19–related complications and disruptions and to deliver game-changing new public health tools to aid the fight against TB.” READ MORE

8/31/20: IN WHO GLOBAL PULSE SURVEY, 90% OF COUNTRIES REPORT DISRUPTIONS TO ESSENTIAL HEALTH SERVICES SINCE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION)

“Most countries reported that many routine and elective services had been suspended, while critical care — such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy — had seen high-risk interruptions in low-income nations. 76% of countries reported reductions in outpatient care attendance due to lower demand and other factors such as lockdowns and financial difficulties. Countries also reported disruptions in malaria diagnosis and treatment (46%), tuberculosis case detection and treatment (42%) and antiretroviral treatment (32%). WHO [World Health Organization] said that countries on average experienced disruptions in 50% of a set of 25 tracer services.” READ MORE

8/30/20: IN THE WORLD’S CORONAVIRUS BLIND SPOT, FEARS OF A SILENT EPIDEMIC (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

“The situation is even less clear in Somalia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where raging insurgencies mean mass testing is impossible and weak health-care systems are already struggling to contain other medical emergencies including HIV/AIDS, measles and Ebola. The chances of surviving coronavirus for patients with pre-existing medical conditions are significantly lower, and many families in Zambia have talked of losing close relatives already sickened by diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.” READ MORE

8/29/20: HIV THREAT LOOMS BEHIND COVID-19 PANDEMIC (CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL)

“Shutdowns because of the pandemic cut off outreach that health departments and organizations like HealthRight use to identify HIV cases and connect patients to care. The added stress of COVID-19 response also meant that resources in some cases are spread too thin to adequately confront other health issues still facing communities.” READ MORE

8/28/20: COLLATERAL IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL IN JIANGSU PROVINCE, CHINA (OXFORD ACADEMIC)

“The Covid-19 pandemic may impede global tuberculosis elimination goals. In Jiangsu Province, China, tuberculosis notifications dropped 52% in 2020 compared to 2015–2019. Treatment completion and screening for drug resistance decreased continuously in 2020. Urgent attention must be paid to tuberculosis control efforts during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.” READ MORE

8/27/20: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE HIV RESPONSE – UNAIDS WARNS OF DANGERS OF FAILING TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE RESPONSE OF COVID-19 (UNAIDS)

“During the early response to COVID-19 UNAIDS received numerous reports of interruptions to HIV services and disturbing human violations against vulnerable and marginalized populations. The experience of the response to HIV has proved that violations of human rights during a pandemic undermine trust, harm individuals, and set back public health responses. HIV prevention and treatment services were disrupted in 10 of the 16 countries reviewed. Some countries reported reductions in medicine collections of up to 20% in some areas. There were multiple reports of people living with HIV not having enough antiretroviral medicine for a lockdown of more than 60 days as well as reports of people having abandoned their HIV treatment due to a lack of food.” READ MORE

8/27/2020: SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS A PLAN TO PROTECT CHILDREN’S HEALTH BEYOND COVID-19 (THE CONVERSATION)

“Children have made many sacrifices because of the country’s COVID-19 response. The overlap between the HIV and COVID-19 epidemics in countries like South Africa is of particular concern due to great risks to the hard-won milestones in controlling the HIV epidemic. An estimated 43,000 children under five died in South Africa in 2018 alone, and of these, 12,717 were newborns. Some of the key drivers of child deaths were underlying malnutrition, HIV and TB [Tuberculosis].” READ MORE

8/27/20: FEWER REPORTED CASES OF TB IN SOUTH AFRICA: NOT NECESSARILY GOOD NEWS (MAVERICK CITIZEN)

“[Dr Jennifer Furin, a multidrug-resistant TB specialist working with Doctors without Borders (MSF)] says the number of people presenting at clinics continues to be low, partly due to people being told to avoid healthcare facilities during the pandemic, but also as a result of clinic closures or under-staffing at facilities. Adding to this, she says TB [Tuberculosis] testing is not routinely offered. In May, Ndjeka told Spotlight that the department had noted a sharp drop in TB cases in April. New figures released last week indicate that case numbers have fallen even further since then. The number of new cases detected in June this year was only 284, compared to 753 in June last year (a decrease of over 60%).” READ MORE

8/27/20: EASTERN CAPE CLINICS LOST TOUCH WITH THOUSANDS OF TB PATIENTS DURING LOCKDOWN (MAVERICK CITIZEN)

“According to the latest health department figures, Nelson Mandela Bay had 22,245 cases of Covid-19. ‘After the advent of Covid-19, HIV and other services were no longer a priority at our facilities. We look at the number of patients with TB – about 1,700 – that were lost to follow-up,’ [Treatment Action Campaign’s Anel Yawa] said. Yawa said many patients with HIV and TB have not received any medical care for months: ‘We received reports that some people were only getting HIV treatment for five days. Others didn’t receive any medication and had to go to their support groups to ask if anybody was willing to share their pills.’ ” READ MORE

8/27/20: IF WE FAIL TO ACT, COVID-19 WILL UNDERMINE THE HEALTH OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD (MAVERICK CITIZEN)

“Currently, approximately 3.7 million pregnant women, children and adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa require uninterrupted access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART). Covid-19 control measures – including lockdowns and travel restrictions – coupled with fear, could result in reductions in access to health services, particularly for mothers and children. This would mean fewer pregnant women receiving HIV services necessary to keep them healthy and further limiting access to timely early infant HIV diagnosis and treatment. READ MORE

8/27/20: THE CORONA CONUNDRUM (FORBES AFRICA)

“Mid-year, globally, there had been over 15 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than 600,000 deaths. This spike in cases will no doubt worsen the current burden on Africa’s already ailing public health systems, and in particular, will limit the attention on all other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. READ MORE

8/26/20: UNAIDS CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL PROTECTION PROGRAMMES IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 (UNAIDS)

“People living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) are being significantly impacted by COVID-19. Modelling has estimated the potential catastrophic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with increases of up to 10%, 20% and 36% projected deaths for HIV, TB and malaria patients, respectively, over the next five years.” READ MORE

8/25/20: Covid-19 sets back malaria, HIV and tuberculosis fight by years (Diario AS – Spain)

“Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Program, painted a stark picture of the situation. ‘Between 50 percent and 75 percent of tuberculosis programs and treatments globally have been interrupted up to now, depending on the country and the levels of hospital care, supplies and tests. Right now, $3 billion is needed to return to the pre-COVID situation, but that figure could double or triple if the trend continues in this way. It’s very worrying.’” READ MORE

8/25/20 KNCV predicts rise in TB related deaths (the sun – nigeria)

“[Dr. Mustapha Gidado, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation Executive Director] observed that there’s worsening performance in TB related programs across the world, with scary prediction that achievements made in the last five years may have been eroded because of the obvious disruption in TB programs. Nevertheless, Dr. Gidado…disclosed that a ‘Catch Up’ TB program has been designed in collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure a possible recovery of what must have been lost due to COVID-19.” READ MORE

8/24/20: Covid-19 research in Europe needs coordination, but we must not stop European research investments in poverty related diseases (the british medical journal)

“We must remain aware of the danger of an excess of COVID-19 exceptionalism in the planning of future research funding that would come at the expense of other urgent global health needs. tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV have well documented research needs and any redirection of funding from these poverty-related diseases to COVID-19 would be highly deleterious to global public health.” READ MORE

8/24/20 Community health workers: The key to home-based Covid care? (the star – kenya)

“‘I didn’t suspect corona (COVID-19) because I had neither a fever nor cough,’ Bonnie Musambi, a KBC journalist, says. He took the COVID-19 test offered at his workplace and continued to self-medicate for what he thought was a bout of malaria. ‘Three days later when they called and told me I had tested positive for COVID-19.’” READ MORE

8/24/20 The Science Behind Saliva-Based Rapid Diagnostic Testing (technology networks)

“Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that the availability of easy-to-use rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria will be critical. Both malaria and COVID-19 can present with the symptom of fever – this not only causes confusion but could be life-threating should malaria be mistaken for COVID-19. Saliva-based RDTs that could be administered by parents at home could not only help to catch cases of malaria but also help to manage the risk of transmission of COVID-19, as a health professional would not have to go to a patient’s home for the purpose of diagnosing possible malaria cases.” READ MORE

8/24/20: How Covid-19’s Spread Could Drive an Increase in Malaria Deaths (smithsonian magazine)

“Restrictions on travel and crowds, along with a lack of personal protective equipment, have reduced the ability of health workers to distribute treated bed nets [to curb the spread of malaria]. On top of that, several companies that produce malaria rapid diagnostic tests have announced their intention to pivot to COVID-19 tests, which retail for higher. A shortage of malaria rapid diagnostic tests poses a number of potential risks, says Peter Olumese, a medical officer with WHO’s global malaria program: ‘If patients are presumptively diagnosed with malaria, they’ll be prescribed medications they may not need, which contributes both to the problem of drug resistance, and also depletes the already limited supply of drugs.’” READ MORE

8/22/20: Response to a new epidemic must not displace responses to older ones (business day – south africa)

“A recent UNAIDS report shows that lockdowns and other COVID-19-related restrictive measures have affected both the transport of goods across the value chain of production and the distribution of HIV medicines. Barriers to the supply chain and a forecasted economic shock indicate a possible fluctuation in the availability of antiretroviral medicines and a possible increase in cost. Manufacturers are facing logistics issues that put people living with HIV and people at higher risk of HIV infection at risk of life-threatening disruptions to health and HIV services.” READ MORE

8/21/20: An Urgent Plea from a South African Health Worker Fighting COVID-19 And TB (the global fund)

“Nombasa and her husband, Vuyisa Dumile, were infected with HIV more than a decade ago. Then came TB, which affected both. In the last few years though, the two were doing well, working and managing HIV through antiretroviral therapy – until COVID-19 arrived. Both were infected with [coronavirus]. And then their children caught it, too. Nombasa says she thinks she got COVID-19 first, most likely from her job, where she spends her days providing treatment support to people ill with TB. …Nombasa and her family have already paid a heavy price. She has an urgent appeal to governments and global health partners to help community health workers do their work. ‘Health workers need training and more PPE to protect themselves and their families.’” READ MORE

8/21/20 Covid- 19 Coalition Launches $100 Million PPE Initiative for Africa’s Community Health Workers (the herald – zimbabwe)

“The COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa (CAFA) is working in partnership with ministries of health to meet the essential PPE needs (including surgical masks, gloves, eye protection and more) of up to one million community health workers serving over 400 million people during the COVID-19 pandemic. ​Community health workers contribute to significant improvements in health priority areas​ such as reducing child undernutrition, improving maternal and child health, expanding access to family planning services, and contributing to infectious disease control for HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.” READ MORE

8/21/20 THE RESPONSE TO A NEW PANDEMIC SHOULD NOT CAPTURE THE CONTINUED TREATMENT OF KNOWN DISEASES (namibia economist)

“COVID-19 has showcased community resilience and innovation, across the [Sub-Saharan Africa] region, for example, networks of people living with HIV are doing home deliveries of antiretroviral medication so that their peers can avoid health facilities and protect themselves from COVID-19 infection.” READ MORE

8/20/20 HERE’S WHAT SCIENTISTS KNOW SO FAR ABOUT THE INTERSECTION OF HIV AND THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC (FORBES)

“Since 1981, approximately 33 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses, including approximately 700,000 in 2019. About 38 million people worldwide currently are infected with HIV. People living with HIV may be at a greater risk of becoming infected by the novel coronavirus. After all, a hallmark of HIV/AIDS is a decreased functioning of the immune system and an increased risk of opportunistic infections.” READ MORE

8/20/20: Two UK studies find that HIV infection may be a risk factor for dying from COVID-19 (AIDS MAP)

“People with HIV had a 130% raised risk (i.e. 2.3 times the risk) of dying from COVID-19 compared with the general population. …The presence of at least one co-morbidity [among people living with HIV] raised the risk of death.” READ MORE

8/20/20: Killer # 2: Disrupted health services during COVID-19 (the world bank)

“In countries where health systems already struggle to meet their population’s needs, the stress of COVID-19 is likely to disrupt essential health services —from ensuring women can safely deliver babies, access family planning services, and immunize their children; to maintaining lifesaving treatments for malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, non-communicable diseases, and childhood pneumonia.” READ MORE

8/20/20: malaria treatment struggles amid covid-19 (borgen project)

“The CDC created a set of key considerations for continuing essential malaria prevention while safeguarding against the COVID-19 pandemic. First, a representative from the National Malaria Control Program should be considered for membership on the country’s National COVID-19 Incident Management Team. Second, continued access for insecticide-treated nets for populations at risk should be put in place. Third, physical distancing during spray treatments should be imposed. Lastly, the continuance of essential routine entomological monitoring activities while abiding by social distancing and wearing protective gear.” READ MORE

8/19/20: Governance and Social Contract within a changing International Context: Making Universal Healthcare, universal (world health organization)

“Preparedness has paid off. Africa’s experience responding to diseases like malaria, cholera and tuberculosis means that many countries already have the expertise, labs, and networks of community health workers that are critical to contain the pandemic.” READ MORE

8/19/20: How business can fight COVID-19 in poor communities (the sun – nigeria)

“Widespread malnutrition, anemia, malaria and tuberculosis in African nations may result in a higher incidence of severe forms of COVID-19 in younger patients. These immunity-suppressing conditions combine with weak public health infrastructure and the exodus of doctors to the West to create a perilous situation.” READ MORE

8/18/20: In the shadow of Covid-19, silent killers re-emerge (cnn)

“While working for Red Cross Red Crescent in South Africa, I witnessed a resurgence in TB as the nation battled with the deadly H1N1 flu pandemic. The fight against COVID-19 is critical, but experience and history show that we also need to continue tackling other dangerous infectious diseases that we have been battling for generations. If we concede the ground, we have made with those diseases over recent decades we face an even greater global health crisis.” READ MORE

8/18/20: Coronavirus morning update: All the new rules for Level 2, and president urges caution (health 24 – south africa)

“The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving an indelible impact on the modern world, changing it forever, including healthcare systems. While the disease is directly destroying many lives, it’s also systematically erasing years of progress made in the fight against other communicable diseases – specifically tuberculosis, malaria and HIV. Epidemics in their own right, disruptions to medication, the halting of prevention programs and a fear of seeking medical care due to the coronavirus have severely impacted many countries’ – including South Africa’s – ability to sustain those fights.” READ MORE

8/18/20: How communities can help stop COVID-19 (oxford university press)

“…COVID will dislocate health systems and could double the number of deaths from [AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria] within twelve months unless urgent action is taken.” READ MORE

8/17/20: COVID-19 in Latin America: what do the figures reveal? And what not? (the costa rica news)

“Countries like Peru, which took early containment and mitigation measures, for example, have also been affected by their high rate of the informal economy, large groups of vulnerable populations, and high rates of other diseases such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. In our region, ‘the most inequitable in the world,’ COVID-19 is not the only health challenge, Dr. Marcos Espinal, director of the Department of Communicable Diseases of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) insists: ‘We have tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue. We are going to have influenza coming into the southern hemisphere.’” READ MORE

8/17/20: bill gates: As COVID-19 spreads, don’t lose track of malaria (gates notes)

“…Some existing malaria programs are also helping to control COVID-19. For example, emergency operations centers that track outbreaks of malaria in Africa are now being used to monitor the spread of COVID-19. By tracking the shape and movement of the pandemic across countries and regions, health officials are also able to deepen their understanding of health conditions in communities that will, in turn, help improve their responses to malaria in those areas.” READ MORE

8/17/20: The Human Cost of the Pandemic May Dwarf Its Death Toll (new york magazine)

“According to one estimate recently showcased in Nature, the global excess death toll just from TB, AIDS, and malaria, which typically kill 2.4 million annually, could almost double over the next year in a worst-case scenario in which the coronavirus pandemic interferes with the distribution of preventative tools like bed nets, the diagnosis of new cases, and the treatment of those who do fall sick.” READ MORE

8/17/20: ‘What if I die?’: Coronavirus hits India’s tuberculosis care (reuters)

“‘People are not coming to the public health facilities because there is deep stigma attached to COVID-19 and TB – it’s like a double stigma,” said Subrat Mohanty, head of Project Axshya, a civil society initiative that supports the government’s TB program to detect and diagnose cases. He said the project…stopped between April and June, so there were no door-to-door case findings, sputum tests or health camps. With lack of access to healthcare, harsh side effects of a cocktail of drugs and isolation, patients can develop mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Basically, motivation to continue medication becomes zero.” READ MORE

8/17/20: Health infrastructure in Telangana gets a fillip due to Covid-19 (telangana today – india)

“The COVID-19 outbreak has clearly highlighted the need to strengthen the Infectious Diseases departments in all government teaching hospitals in the State [of Telangana]. Already, efforts are on to recruit specialty doctors in the fields of Tuberculosis (TB) and Pulmonary Diseases, which largely deal with infectious diseases. Such dedicated departments focus on management of infectious diseases caused by weak immunity of the human body. Apart from TB, other infectious diseases include HIV, tropical diseases like malaria, dengue.” READ MORE

8/17/20: The forgotten killers: Covid-19 destroying gains made in the fight against malaria, TB (health 24 – South africa)

“The [Southern Africa] region has an ongoing initiative – the SADC Elimination 8 – which aims to eradicate malaria with its member countries, including South Africa. Its goal was to eliminate malaria completely in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Eswatini by this year, but these countries saw an incline in cases after 2017, reversed again in 2018, according to its latest report. Six of the eight [countries] have already reported increases in malaria cases this year, and the first quarter report of the year stated that lockdowns have limited or even prevented surveillance teams’ ability to investigate and detect malaria cases.” READ MORE

8/16/20: the plight of patients as coronavirus soars (daily news – zimbabwe)

“‘[Zimbabwe’s] health response must prevent stigma and discrimination. It should promote health seeking behavior instead of turning away patients due to non-availability of COVID-19 test results as this may erode the gains achieved over the years in various health programs such as HIV and AIDS, TB, malaria, and sexual reproductive health programs,’ [Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai] Rusike said.” READ MORE

8/15/20: Prevention of malaria shouldn’t stall due to Covid (daily monitor – uganda)

“Failing to maintain prevention of Neglected Tropical Diseases during the Ebola outbreak cost lives. In fact, the final death toll from diseases such as malaria, HIV, and TB, outweighed the number of deaths caused by Ebola on its own. There are worrying signs that history is about to repeat itself. In 2018, The Democratic Republic of Congo reported another strain of Ebola, which coincided with a significant surge in malaria cases. In fact, DRC was already fighting four diseases before COVID-19 began to spread: cholera, measles, Ebola, and malaria. In a healthcare system already pushed to its limit, COVID-19 poses an even greater threat to DRC’s recovery.” READ MORE

8/14/20: THE INDIRECT IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON HEALTH AND ESSENTIAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (PREVENT EPIDEMICS)

“In sub-Saharan Africa, compared with other world regions, health systems that were fragile at baseline are being further weakened by the pandemic and the response. A study on the impact of potential disruptions in HIV services suggested that a six-month disruption of antiretroviral therapy could lead to a two-fold increase in deaths (equating to 500,000 excess deaths) from AIDS-related illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa during 2020-2021.” READ MORE

8/14/20: South africa’s 33,000 excess deaths: What we know so far (daily maverick – south africa)

“While South Africa’s HIV and TB epidemics are of critical concern, the current excess death figures may not yet reflect the potential mortality increase as a result of the impact on care services for these two diseases for the next few years.” READ MORE

8/14/20: Impact of COVID-19 in Africa: A severe setback for development (phys)

“Beyond the emergency policies to fight the pandemic and mitigate its associated short-term economic impact, there is an obvious need for policies to build future resilience. Governments must also ensure that their focus on COVID-19 does not result in an increase in co-morbidity, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis related deaths.” READ MORE

8/13/20: Experts Warn of 750,000 More Malaria Deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa (vice world news)

“For both malaria and COVID-19, the big issue is making sure that people are being tested for both diseases, especially since their symptoms are so similar. “This is hard to do quickly, because while rapid diagnostic tests are available for malaria, it is very hard to create them for viral infections such as COVID-19.” READ MORE

8/13/20: Doctors Warn of Increase in TB, Malaria, HIV Deaths Due to COVID-19 (voa zimbabwe)

“‘We need to not forget diseases like TB, HIV and malaria. TB was in the top 10 global causes of death last year. ‘We stand to lose gains that we’ve been making in recent years, hard-fought gains that we’ve made, and we could be pushed back five 10, 20 years even,’ says Dr. Finn McQuaid, a TB expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.” READ MORE

8/13/20: TB, Malaria Cases Up As COVID-19 Grabs Global Attention (voa zimbabwe)

“‘We know there’s a 50 percent decrease in TB testing in South Africa at the moment. So, people are not able to go to the clinic or go to hospitals and so on, and they’re not being diagnosed with TB. And this means that they can then transmit TB further to other people. So, it’s just going to sort of snowball,’ says Dr. Finn McQuaid” WATCH

8/13/20: The U.S. Can Only Defeat COVID-19 Through Global Solidarity (time)

“We are at an inflection point – we could either lose thousands of lives from COVID-19 and from HIV, TB and malaria after losing the gains we have made over the years or we could consolidate those gains and save thousands, or even millions, of lives.” READ MORE

8/12/20: COVID-19: How Did We Get Here? When Can We Get Out? (medpage today)

“The African population has far fewer elderly people than North America and Europe, but the burden of TB, HIV, and malnutrition is much higher. …At present, the economic hardships associated with the pandemic have proven to be worse than the virus itself for many Africans, and there is great potential for collateral damage to public health programs on malnutrition, vaccine, malaria, and HIV.” READ MORE

8/12/20: pan american health organiation Director Warns COVID-19 Threatens Plans to Control Infectious Diseases (caribbean national weekly)

“30 per cent of people living with HIV [in the Americas] are avoiding seeking care and antiretroviral medications are in limited supply. Disruptions in hepatitis screenings, key for detection and treatment, were also reported by a third of the countries.” READ MORE

8/12/20: Coronavirus’s Long, Deadly Plateau in the Developing World (the wall street journal)

“Some 80% of programs designed to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria—which together kill millions each year—have been disrupted due to the pandemic, according to the WHO’s Global Fund, which coordinates a global response to those diseases. That disruption is particularly important in poorer nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America where those diseases are more prevalent.” READ MORE

8/12/20: How to stop COVID-19 fuelling a resurgence of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (nature)

“Hospitals and health authorities in affected cities and regions must recognize that AIDS, malaria and TB are surging again. In the case of TB, case detection — which has been affected by hospital testing facilities being diverted for COVID-19 — needs to be resumed quickly. It is possible for testing facilities to be shared for the two diseases. Some hospitals in the Asia–Pacific region are using the same equipment to run COVID-19 tests in the morning and TB tests in the afternoon — or vice versa. It is also possible to coordinate COVID-19 testing with rapid diagnostic testing for HIV and malaria.” READ MORE

8/12/20: Ohangwena’s mother-to-child HIV transmission down to 1% (new era – namibia)

“In addition to HIV/AIDS the governor further said the region is challenged with other diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), malaria and now COVID-19. The Ohangwena health director John Hango said TB is a challenge in the region because the cases are on an increase. ‘When you diagnose one person with TB there is a possibility that there are more cases at home because it is an airborne disease, hence cases are necessarily not decreasing,’ said Hango. It is not yet malaria season but Hango said malaria was worse last year in comparison to recent years.” READ MORE

8/12/20: henry jackson foundation medical research International (HJFMRI) Receives Grant to Research COVID-19 Impact on Pregnant Women and Newborns (pr newswire)

“This study monitors the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and newborns’ outcomes, with additional considerations of maternal anemia and co-infection with HIV, tuberculosis or malaria. The study also looks at the birth outcomes and the health of infants born to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and the rate, or possibility, of transmission to the child.” READ MORE

8/11/20: South Africa’s poor scramble for anti-HIV drugs amid virus (abc news)

“Clinics in central Johannesburg have seen a 10% to 25% drop in people coming for HIV treatment, she said. On top of that, several clinics have had to close temporarily when nurses and doctors have become sick with COVID-19. Some clinics see 60 to 80 patients per day, so when one closes, for even a week, it means many people are not getting their drugs. It’s a serious threat.” READ MORE

8/11/20: How COVID-19 threatens global progress in fight against other communicable diseases (the week)

“Studies found that deaths from other diseases, like malaria and HIV, actually went up at that time, even eclipsing the number of deaths caused by Ebola. Dr. Alpha Mahmoud Barry, [a public health specialist and epidemiologist,] who is based near a major health center in the capital, Conakry, said he is already seeing signs that this could happen again amid COVID-19. ‘It’s almost like people think malaria and HIV have gone away,’ he said.” READ MORE

8/11/20: Tony Blair: Three priorities for the developing world to beat Covid-19 (financial times)

“There is a risk of a huge rise in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 deaths, as modelling from the Institute for Global Change has shown, compounding existing economic and food security crises. An increase could mean not just losing gains made in tackling HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and maternal and child health, but seeing those trends reverse.” READ MORE

8/11/20: COVID-19 threatens plans to eliminate and control infectious diseases, PAHO Director says (pan american health organization)

“Challenges in delivering TB treatments during the pandemic were reported by 80 percent of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which could turn manageable cases of TB into active infections. Similarly, 30 percent of people living with HIV are avoiding seeking care and antiretroviral medications are in limited supply. Disruptions in hepatitis screenings, key for detection and treatment, were also reported by a third of the countries.” READ MORE

8/10/20: RESPONDING TO COVID-19 – Global Accountability Report – March to May 2020 (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF))

“MSF’s priority is to ensure medical teams are able to provide live-saving care and safely manage potential COVID-19 patients. MSF’s focus also is on maintaining or adapting crucial medical activities such as treatment for HIV and tuberculosis patients, measles vaccination campaigns, malaria prevention, and the fight against other infectious disease outbreaks such as cholera or Ebola.” READ MORE

8/10/20: HIV positive mothers give birth to healthy babies (informanté – namibia)

“Governor of Ohangwena Region, Walde Ndevashiya, said that the region continues to fight against common diseases and health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and the current COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the new coronavirus pandemic has diverted much of the medical attention towards curbing further spread of the virus as well as preparedness in case of an outbreak.” READ MORE

8/9/20: MALARIA AND COVID-19 DIAGNOSTIC dilemma FOR MALARIA ENDEMIC COUNTRIES (freedom newspaper – the gambia)

“Since malaria tests are readily available, WHO recommends that health workers perform a rapid test for malaria as they screen for COVID-19. Testing for malaria and COVID-19 at the same time is an excellent opportunity to respond to two potential infectious diseases promptly and reduce unnecessary morbidity and death. By quickly ruling out malaria, the healthcare provider can concentrate on the exact cause of illness and give appropriate and timely management of patients.” READ MORE

8/8/20: Africa’s one million coronavirus cases “the tip of the iceberg” (walta – ethiopia)

“The impact of the pandemic overwhelms and disrupts health care systems and services for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—illnesses that also compound the effects of the coronavirus—leading to an additional loss of life. East and Southern Africa have the highest rates of those living with HIV. According to Avert, despite containing only 6.2 percent of the world’s population, these regions account for 54 percent of the world’s 20.8 million people diagnosed with HIV.” READ MORE

8/8/20: world health organization scales up COVID-19, TB search with mobile testing in Kaduna communities (premium times – nigeria)

“The mobile TB diagnostic facility, [Wellness On Wheels Truck], which was launched in mid-June 2020, has drastically increased access of community members to not only TB testing, but also COVID-19 and other deadly diseases with timely linkage to management/treatment. It has significantly reduced the turnaround time for test results, given the high volume of samples collected for processing.” READ MORE

8/7/20: UCSF’S GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE FIGHTS COVID-19 AROUND THE WORLD (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO)  

“’Not only will the coronavirus cause much sickness and death, but we also face major setbacks in malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, and childhood immunization, to name four, because health systems are overwhelmed and supply chains disrupted,’ said Sir Richard Feachem, PhD, DSc, director of the Global Health Group.” READ MORE

8/7/20: Mosquito net distribution could halve Malaria deaths in Africa during COVID-19 (imperial college london)

“An estimated 228 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were due to be delivered across Sub-Saharan Africa this year, more than ever before. [Researchers] estimate that if these mosquito nets are not deployed and preventative chemotherapy and case management is reduced by half for six months, there could be 779,000 malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa over 12 months.” READ MORE

8/7/20: The potential public health consequences of COVID-19 on malaria in Africa (nature)

“If malaria control activities are severely disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we find that malaria deaths could more than double in 2020 compared with 2019. If mosquito nets are not deployed and case management is reduced by half for 6 months there could be 779,000 malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa over 12 months. The projected effect varies according to how long services are interrupted, if the disruption coincides with the malaria transmission season and whether routine vector control interventions such as the mass distribution of mosquito nets was due in 2020.” READ MORE

8/7/20: COVID-19 threatens global progress in fight against other communicable diseases (the world)

“If countries choose to focus completely on the COVID-19 epidemic and neglect maintaining essential prevention and treatment services for HIV, TB and malaria, we could see deaths that are on the same order of magnitude of those that would be caused by COVID-19 itself.” READ MORE

8/7/20: East African governments and the regional unity that won’t be (daily nation – kenya)

“All the East African Community (EAC) member states, like the rest of the continent, have experienced the double blow of the pandemic eating up the entire health budget, leaving the fight against the most daunting health crises that kill more Africans by far, such as Malaria and tuberculosis, with little attention.” READ MORE

8/7/20: Africa: Coronavirus Could Double Malaria Deaths, Researchers Warn (all africa)

“Okefu Oyale Okoko, a leading official of the Nigerian health ministry’s Malaria Elimination Programme, called for interventions against malaria to continue ‘in order to not only sustain the gains already made in malaria elimination but ensure we do not have a resurgence in malaria.’” READ MORE

8/7/20: Continuation of nutrition services amid Covid-19 (tribune – pakistan)

“The already burdened public health system now faces an enormous challenge to curb the spread of the virus as well as to continue the provision of quality and equitable access to essential health and nutrition services. As a result, the disruption of essential services could result in…outbreaks of measles, malaria, and tuberculosis to further exacerbate the overall health situation in Pakistan.” READ MORE

8/6/20: Potential effects of disruption to HIV programmes in sub-Saharan Africa caused by COVID-19: results from multiple mathematical models (the lancet hiv)

“Although an interruption in the supply of ART drugs would have the largest impact of any potential disruptions, effects of poorer clinical care due to overstretched health facilities, interruptions of supply of other drugs such as co-trimoxazole, and suspension of HIV testing would all have a substantial effect on population-level mortality (up to a 1.06 times increase in HIV-related deaths over a 1-year period due to disruptions affecting 50% of the population compared with no disruption).” READ MORE

8/6/20: Covid-19 threatens to overwhelm the developing world (the washington post)

“On HIV, there have been supply chain disruptions for anti-retroviral therapies, and many providers report being stressed or overwhelmed. On malaria — with many places in Africa reaching peak season — the work of net distribution and insecticide spraying has been compromised. On tuberculosis, COVID-19 has undermined diagnosis, treatment and prevention efforts. According to a recent worldwide survey, about three-quarters of HIV, TB and malaria programs are facing disruptions.” READ MORE

8/6/20: Kaduna State and WHO scale up COVID-19 and TB search with mobile testing in communities (world health organization nigeria)

“Presently, Kaduna State is witnessing over 50% reduction in hospital attendance and access to services due to disruption of routine essential services and programs resulting from prioritization of COVID-19 response. In renewed efforts to tackle COVID-19 alongside TB in Nigeria, WHO Nigeria in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, co-facilitated implementation of an integrated community testing for the two disease conditions using a mobile itinerant TB diagnostic facility called Wellness On Wheels Truck.” READ MORE

8/6/20: Covid-19: Patient voices and perspectives in Uganda (the british medical journal)

“The measures taken by the Ugandan government intended to combat the spread of COVID-19 totally disrupted the supply chain and healthcare service delivery system as all efforts were focused on COVID-19. Patients with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, cancer, hypertension…faced an increased risk of complications and death due to an inability to access healthcare because of transport restrictions, curfew, poor ambulatory systems and fear of contracting the virus from healthcare settings. The Infectious Diseases Clinic at Mulago National Referral Hospital committed to ensure continued delivery of quality HIV care and treatment services to its patients…by [safeguarding] continuity of patient treatment and safety as well as staff safety and well-being.” READ MORE

8/6/20: Africa passes 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The true toll is probably much higher (los angeles times)

“[WHO’s Africa chief] Matshidiso Moeti also worries about a related danger for which even less data exist: the number of deaths from diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis as resources are diverted to COVID-19.” READ MORE

8/5/20: How a cheap diagnostic kit could help the world beat superbugs (the telegraph – united kingdom)

“The antimicrobial resistance burden is likely to fall hardest on poor countries where antibiotics can be bought over the counter and healthcare is limited. These countries, which already have a high prevalence of infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, are now having to cope with the added burden of COVID-19 significantly disrupting access to health services.” READ MORE

8/5/20: PPE Shortages Impact Global Diseases; Broader Impact Of Remote Work (wbur-fm)

“The global fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis has seen success in recent years. But with medical workers and resources shifted to combatting COVID-19, these other diseases are again on the rise.” READ MORE

8/4/20: PAHO Director warns of disruptions in regular health services due to COVID-19 (pan american health organization)

“Without doctors and nurses available to offer other essential services at the first level of care – including pregnancy-related care, and management of chronic conditions like diabetes or infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria – these services are severely disrupted or worse yet, halted entirely.” READ MORE

8/3/2020: PrEP RETENTION AND PRESCRIPTIONS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA (THE LANCET HIV)

“Before lockdown, 29% participants on [pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)] missed their 1-month visit and 41% missed their 3-month visit. During the nationwide lockdown, missed PrEP visits increased significantly to 63% at the 1-month visit and 55% at the 3-month visit. Overall, 34% of women missed visits before lockdown and 57% during lockdown.” READ MORE

8/3/20: ‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus. (the new york times)

“The pandemic has hindered the availability of drugs for H.I.V., TB and malaria worldwide by interrupting supply chains, diverting manufacturing capacity and imposing physical barriers for patients who must travel to distant clinics to pick up the medications. And these shortages are forcing some patients to ration their medications, endangering their health.” READ MORE

8/3/20: Coronavirus Live Updates: Epidemic Is ‘Extraordinarily Widespread,’ Birx Warns (the new york times)

“‘Covid-19 risks derailing all our efforts and taking us back to where we were 20 years ago,’ said Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, the director of the World Health Organization’s global malaria program.” READ MORE

7/31/20: Understanding the impact of interruptions to HIV services during the covid-19 pandemic: A modelling study (MCR Centre for global infectious disease analysis – uk)

“A three-month interruption for 40% of those on [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] could cause a similar number of additional deaths as those that might be saved from COVID-19 through social distancing. An interruption for more than 690% of individuals on ART for nine months could cause the number of HIV deaths to exceed the number of COVID-19 deaths, depending on the COVID-19 projection. However, if ART supply is maintained, but new treatment, voluntary medical male circumcision, and pre-exposure prophylaxis initiations cease for 3 months and condom use is reduced, increases in HIV deaths would be limited to <2% over five years, although this could still be accompanied by a 7% increase in new HIV infections.” READ MORE

7/31/20: Unlock 3: No silver bullet yet, brace for ripple effects from Covid (the business line – india)

“As the trajectory of confirmed COVID cases and mortality increases, there will emerge second and third-order effects like economic crisis, food production problems, housing issues, people losing jobs, disruptions in children’s education, and mental health, for example, says Dr. Parikh. And all this besides seasonal health concerns like malaria or dengue that come with the rains, the existing concerns of tuberculosis, and so on.” READ MORE

7/31/20: Laois aid worker in Africa asks for help to save people from Covid-19 (leinster express)

“The area is so poor that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 may not admit it, because to isolate means to not be able to work, and then have no money for food. The healthcare system here is already overwhelmed with diseases like malaria and TB. There is one doctor per 90,000 people. People won’t be tested. The Malawi government is doing all they can but without resources.” READ MORE

7/30/20: Combating COVID impact on malaria programs (burnet institute – australia)

“‘The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the control of infectious diseases is substantial, undermining established programs addressing HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and childhood vaccination,’ Professor Beeson and his co-authors write. They list several problems specific to malaria treatment and prevention, including issues with supply chains for insecticide-treated nets; lower attendance at health clinics because of fear of exposure to COVID-19; not enough resources to protect frontline health care workers from COVID-19; and supply chain issues with drug and other medicines.” READ MORE

7/29/20: COVID-19 Projected to Cause Surge in Deaths From HIV, TB and Malaria (poz)

“UNAIDS and the World Health Organization have also raised the alarm about the risk of shortages of seven major generic ARVs in 73 nations, including the vitally important tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.” READ MORE

7/29/20: Interview: Urban Weber of the Global Fund on COVID and the Big Three (health issues india)

“The donor community should be prepared to support instant mitigation: if bed net campaigns don’t happen, there will be an immediate loss of life. Infected patients, especially children under five, will die in a matter of days. The response against COVID and the response against malaria must happen in parallel. If tuberculosis notification and therefore enrollment for treatment is reduced because of lockdowns, a higher transmission rate in underserved communities will be the result.” READ MORE

7/29/20: HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 Require Global Solidarity (in depth news)

“The COVID-19 pandemic also poses a challenge to the HIV response, in that it affects the achievements gained thus far as a result of service disruption, constrained supply chain systems and diversion in financing of the response. For instance, major donor countries might prioritize their domestic economic challenges that have been brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. The health system is getting overwhelmed due to the pandemic, thereby affecting service continuity for HIV and other essential services. In summary, it is not “either or”, rather we must put all efforts to end both pandemics.” READ MORE

7/29/20: Measles vaccination disruptions due to coronavirus put 80 million children at risk (the guardian)

“In the capital city, Kinshasa, we noticed a major drop in consultation as many people feared they would be infected with COVID by going to health facilities deemed under-equipped with protective equipment, or feared being isolated and stigmatized for a long time due to the delays in obtaining test results. This situation affected the care of sick people and the monitoring of their treatment, especially for conditions such as diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.” READ MORE

7/29/20: Top 5 stories on COVID-19 and HIV from AIDS 2020 (aids map)

“Many African countries responded quickly to COVID-19 by implementing changes to medication distribution and follow up appointments. Some have decreased the number of clinic visits and now dispense more HIV treatment to last longer, known as multi-month prescribing. Data presented from a South Africa study showed that when people are given fewer clinic appointments, this does not lead to poorer HIV management.” READ MORE

7/28/20: COVID-19 disruptions could lead to surge in infectious disease deaths (medical news today)

“Experts indicate that the pandemic’s knock-on effects are likely to be most severe in low and middle-income countries, where health systems are less robust and economic reserves are more limited. A particular concern is the impact of the pandemic on countries with high burdens of infectious diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis, which depend on regular, large-scale programs of control and treatment.” READ MORE

7/28/20: Pacific nations face wider health crisis as systems focus on stopping Covid-19 (the guardian)

“Disruptions [such as poorer access to antiretroviral drugs, and interruptions to net campaigns, diagnosis and treatment] could lead to a loss of life-years over five years that is of the same order of magnitude as the direct impact from COVID-19 in places with a high burden of malaria and large HIV and tuberculosis epidemics.” READ MORE

7/28/20: Review: Global Food Insecurity set to rise because of COVID-19 (factly – india)

“Healthcare centers have been overwhelmed because of the pandemic and this has affected their ability to extend childcare and antenatal care. Moreover, in developing countries, infectious diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, tuberculosis, etc. are still prevalent and quality nutrition intake is a must.” READ MORE

7/27/20: Bill Gates: How HIV/AIDS prepared us to tackle COVID-19 (world economic forum)

“‘Better diagnostic tools are being developed to help identify these [coronavirus] infections. Investments are being made in libraries of antiviral drugs. Also, we’re making great progress on vaccines. These platforms won’t just be useful against this particular virus, they will also help us specifically for HIV,’ Bill Gates says.” READ MORE

7/27/20: papua new guinea orders lockdown of capital after first virus death (malay mail)

“Papua last week asked for help from the World Health Organization, which is said to be mobilizing international emergency medical teams to deploy to the country. Experts fear a severe COVID-19 outbreak could be catastrophic in a country where malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are already problems.” READ MORE

7/27/20: It’s ‘trading one health crisis for another’ (business line)

“Leena Menghaney with the Médecins Sans Frontières explained that diseases dependent on the public health system for delivery of treatment — such as TB, malaria and viral hepatitis — saw the most sufferers. HIV and hepatitis require frequent examination of viral load for deciding on the treatment, but equipment and manpower used for this were mostly diverted for COVID testing, said Menghaney. ‘Similarly, with the bed net scheme temporarily stopped due to COVID, the incidence of malaria…is expected to go up in most malaria-infected regions in the country.’” READ MORE

7/24/20: Western Region records low patronage of mother, child health services (ghanaweb)

“The Western Regional Health Director, Naa Dr Jacob Yakubu Mahama, however, said there was a significant reduction in malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS cases.” READ MORE

7/24/20: Malawi: Germany Commits to Support Malawi Health Sector (nyasa times)

“The envoy said Germany has been supporting the health sector in areas if neonatal and maternal health, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through its GTZ and KFW is committed to helping Malawi fight COVID-19.” READ MORE

7/24/20: India and Africa: A compassionate partnership (the telegraph – india)

“COVID-19 has brought new challenges to an Africa saddled with endemic diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and Ebola, the four other infectious killers in recent times.” READ MORE

7/24/20: A tale of two pandemics: Covid-19 and lessons learnt from HIV (bhekisisa – south africa)

“TB testing numbers almost halved during shelter-in-place orders and HIV viral load testing fell too, says Linda-Gail Bekker, CEO of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation.” READ MORE

7/24/20: A tale of two pandemics: Covid-19 and lessons learnt from HIV (daily maverick – south africa)

“The COVID-19 outbreak comes at a time when South Africa is trying to increase access to the HIV prevention pill — a daily tablet that can dramatically reduce someone’s chances of contracting the virus. At the same time, the country is in the process of introducing a 3-in-1 antiretroviral that includes the newer medication, dolutegravir. Depending on whether the country sees successive waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, Linda-Gail Bekker [CEO of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation] predicts it could take at least a year to 18 months to get a sense of how the pandemic has impacted HIV care and treatment, and other health programs such as childhood immunizations.” READ MORE

7/23/20: 4 European Union Humanitarian Air Bridge Flights, coordinated by Portugal, bring medical supplies and equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Guinea-Bissau (european union external action)

“This new wave of humanitarian aid addresses the country’s immediate health needs in the face not only of the coronavirus, but also of other diseases that need urgent attention during this pandemic period, notably Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV.” READ MORE

7/23/20: Emergency budget addresses causes, not consequences of Covid-19 – DA Northern Cape (politics web – south africa)

“Not only does the [Northern Cape] province already have high defaulting rates, but early research also shows that mortality rates from the coronavirus are two to three times higher in individuals who are HIV-positive or who suffer from tuberculosis.” READ MORE

7/23/20: How avoiding emergency department visits can have serious consequences (express healthcare – india)

“Prior experience from Ebola outbreak (2014 – 2015) suggests that the increased number of deaths caused by measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis attributable to health system failures.” READ MORE

7/23/20: Fearful Papua New Guinea calls for WHO virus help (yahoo news australia)

“National pandemic response controller David Manning expressed ‘serious concerns on the alarming rate of increase of COVID-19 cases in Port Moresby and the likely spread to the other provinces’, saying there was a ‘high likelihood of expanded community transmission’. Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the Pacific. Its rickety health system is already under severe pressure from the widespread transmission of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as one of the world’s few remaining outbreaks of polio.” READ MORE

7/23/20: Community engagement critical in Covid 19 fight (the herald – zimbabwe)

“With the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) observing an increase of 100,000 new cases weekly, there is concern on how the fight against COVID-19 is affecting governments’ response to other health interventions such as malaria, tuberculosis and immunization programs.” READ MORE

7/23/20: UN releases USD 106 million for socio-economic sector (agencia angola press)

“For this year, Paolo Badelli said five million dollars have already been raised to provide immediate responses to the needs of combating the pandemic, with the other 31 million dollars to be raised through UN agencies in New York and bilateral partners. He also spoke of the need for Angola to work to improve access to health services, avoiding major endemic diseases such as malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other chronic diseases such as diabetes, areas in which he said there was “strong investment” by the UN.” READ MORE

7/22/20: Covid-19: Projections predict increase in cases (agencia angola press)

“Secretary of State for Public Health, Franco Mufinda recalled that the Angolan health system is already struggling with problems in the treatment of transmissible and non-transmissible diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, typhoid fever, and others.” READ MORE

7/22/20: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock Remarks in Conversation with CSIS on Covid-19’s Next Cascade of Crises & Choices Before the World’s Leaders (United nations office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs/ Reliefweb)

“In addition, at least 2 million preventable deaths could occur as a result of disrupted health care through the pandemic. Already, millions of children in 80 countries are not receiving their routine vaccinations. The annual death toll from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria is set to double. Important progress that has been realized by GAVI and the Global Fund and the work of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and others, in other words, could be compromised as a result of the pandemic.” READ MORE

7/22/20: ‘Community involvement key in Covid-19 fight’ (the herald – ZIMBABWE)

“‘We need to redouble our commitment towards the fight against Covid-19 and other diseases like TB, HIV and malaria. This is the time for governments to commit to resourcing their health facilities because COVID-19 is a massive health disruption which arises with huge socio-economic consequences’ said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund.” READ MORE

7/22/20: Can we learn from COVID-19 testing infrastructure for TB management? (cnbc tv18 – india)

“The steps taken to overcome initial stigma and inertia in the case of COVID-19 through large mass communication channels can be replicated to apply for TB. …Key pieces of the necessary data infrastructure for mass TB surveillance and management can be extracted from the COVID-19 model and utilized for collecting data at scale…through labs, public and local health agencies.” READ MORE

7/21/20: How Deadly Is COVID-19? Researchers May Have Finally Found An Answer (latin post)

“In other epidemics, experts say people avoided seeking medical attention due to fears they would get infected with the virus. Additionally, overwhelmed healthcare systems also faced difficulties in providing services. One study showed HIV, TB, and malaria may have killed more people during the 2014- 2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa than the virus itself.” READ MORE

7/21/20: Malaria struggle must not be derailed by COVID-19 (the Brussels times)

“COVID-19 exists in addition to, not instead of, the world’s existing health problems. It is clear that the progress that has been made against malaria is in danger as resources are diverted to tackling COVID-19.” READ MORE

7/21/20: Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Kits Market Increase In Development Activities Is More Boosting Demands, 2020-2030 (science examiner)

“Emergence of COVID-19 has driven the need of better diagnostic tools, which is expected to propel the global RT-PCR kits market. Moreover, increase in incidence of HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other genetic disorders is likely to boost demand for RT-PCR kits during the forecast period.” READ MORE

7/21/20: Statement On The Global Response To COVID-19 (office of United States senator patrick leahy)

“Disruptions in supply chains, personnel, transport, and other factors caused by COVID-19 are projected to result in millions of additional deaths from AIDS, TB, and malaria in 2020 and 2021.” READ MORE

7/20/20: How COVID-19 threatens efforts to contain HIV/AIDS in South Africa (the conversation)

“Twenty-four countries are at risk of drug stock-outs of major first-line drugs; 38 countries reported a disruption in HIV testing and 23 reported a disruption in HIV viral load monitoring.” READ MORE

7/20/20: Coronavirus Threatens Progress in AIDS Fight (karma impact)

“Vaccinations and screenings for HIV, measles, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases are down because of COVID-19, and this could lead to more deaths.” READ MORE

7/20/20: Fears of HIV spike in Jamaica as pandemic hits prevention efforts (reuters)

“‘What we are finding is some persons are not committed to taking their HIV medication because they have other problems that in their head are more important than medication. They are busy trying to find food and bread for their family, and they are not really thinking about taking medication,’ said Jumoke Patrick, executive director of the Jamaican Network of Seropositives, which advocates for the rights of people with HIV.” READ MORE

7/19/20: Defeating Covid-19 a worldwide effort (the sun daily – malaysia)

“Other preventable deaths are rising as less people get medical attention due to loss of livelihoods and health coverage. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has estimated an additional 1.44 million deaths from the three killer diseases.” READ MORE

7/18/20 Coronavirus reaching hinterland real challenge for health care (hindustan times – india)

“‘Some progress has certainly been made in improving service delivery in rural areas, but the focus has been largely on maternal and childcare, with some good work in malaria and TB control. But by and large, the infrastructure capacity to cope with infectious diseases in terms of trained personnel, laboratory support and good district and sub district level hospitals continue to be poor. A lot more focus and investment [are] needed,’ said K Sujatha Rao, former Union health secretary.” READ MORE

7/18/20: Africa can’t afford COVID-19 trade-offs (the reporter ethiopia)

“For starters, diagnostic tests – for COVID-19 and many other common diseases – must be accessible to all – and especially to high-risk populations. Africa has well-established testing services for several common diseases, including multi-disease testing for HIV and TB. But these programs are now at risk, and Africa is also falling behind other regions in testing for COVID-19.” READ MORE

7/17/20 POSTEXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (LANCET HIV)

“Since the nadir of [Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP)] prescriptions in the week of April 13–19, a relatively rapid increase in prescriptions was seen during the lockdown period reaching 17 prescriptions (May 11–17) and 20 prescriptions (May 18–24) in the 2 weeks immediately after restrictions began to on May 13, 2020, and individuals were allowed to visit friends and family indoors with no more than five visitors.5 If PEP prescriptions are used as a proxy for risky behaviour then our data suggest that any decrease in HIV and STI diagnoses will be temporary. With the first 4 weeks during lockdown (March 23–April 19), a 66% reduction was seen, from 88 to 30 PEP prescriptions.” READ MORE

7/17/20: Africa can’t afford COVID-19 trade-offs (PaZimbabwe)

“Some countries have introduced joint testing for TB and COVID-19 and for malaria and COVID-19 (and immediate malaria treatment if required). Joint testing makes all the more sense, because HIV, TB, and malaria may all cause symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as high fevers. Such programs must be scaled up, so that diagnostics and treatments — which are often expensive and difficult to access — are available to all.” READ MORE

7/17/20: Politics gets in the way of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response (devex)

“Government officials admit that reopening most sectors of the Nigerian economy could lead to a rise in coronavirus cases but — in line with the advice of WHO’s Africa office — they say the extension of lockdowns would threaten gains made in other areas, including the fight against diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV.” READ MORE

7/16/20: UN Raises COVID-19 Appeal to $10.3 Billion (voa news)

“Another 1.7 million people could die from treatable diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, from disruptions to health services and resources diverted to COVID-19.” READ MORE

7/16/20: COVID-19: UN relief chief urges G20 to step up to avert ‘cascading crises’ in fragile countries (UN NEWS)

“UN agencies estimate that due to disruptions to health systems caused by the pandemic, some 6,000 children could die each every day from preventable causes, while annual deaths from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, could double.” READ MORE

7/16/20: PAHO to work with COICA indigenous organization to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the Amazon basin (pan american health organization)

“[The Pan American Health Organization and Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin] also warned that the high rates of diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases in these communities ‘increases the risk of contracting severe cases of COVID-19.’ Chronic child malnutrition, high maternal mortality rates, malaria and dengue in indigenous communities, also ‘adds to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.’” READ MORE

7/16/20: No treatment without Covid test, say private hospital doctors (the new indian express)

“It is near impossible to identify COVID-19 cases from just the symptoms, as fever is a basic symptom for malaria and dengue too. We cannot take any chances now, as the number of local transmission cases in the coastal areas and within the city is spiking.” READ MORE

7/16/20: DISRUPTED HEALTH SERVICE IN LOW-MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES MIGHT LEAD TO INCREASE IN HIV, TB, MALARIA RELATED DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC (first post)

“For TB, [researchers at Imperial College London] said the greatest impact [of COVID-19] could be from reductions in timely diagnosis and treatment of new cases. Based on the model, the scientists said in southern African countries, TB deaths could rise by as much as 20 percent over the next five years compared with when services are functioning normally.” READ MORE

7/16/20: 109 Local PPE Manufacturers Trained (kenya news)

“The new facilities would be designed to bolster testing capacity and reduce tests turnaround time [for COVID-19]. The laboratories will also be used for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other tests.” READ MORE

7/15/20: HIV, malaria and TB deaths likely to surge amid Covid-19: Study (the strait times – singapore)

“In countries with a high malaria burden and large HIV and TB epidemics, even short-term disruptions could have devastating consequences for the millions of people who depend on programs to control and treat these diseases.” READ MORE

7/15/20: America Should Prepare for a Double Pandemic (the atlantic)

“Global programs that fight HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis are being disrupted as workers are reassigned to fighting COVID-19, supplies run out, and labs are inundated.” READ MORE

7/15/20: In African villages, coronavirus sparks fears of a spike in malaria deaths (Thomson reuters)

“It would not be the first time an outbreak of another disease led to a rise in the number of malaria infections. North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo saw an eight-fold increase in malaria cases after the 2018 Ebola outbreak there as the focus of medical efforts shifted.” READ MORE

7/15/20: The G20 needs to do more to address the human toll of COVID-19 (the atlantic council)

“Treatment and prevention programs for [HIV, TB, and malaria] have been disrupted, community health facilities have been overwhelmed by COVID patients, and resources previously committed to the HIV, TB, and malaria diverted.” READ MORE

7/14/20: Pandemic risks ‘surge’ in infectious disease deaths (manilla bulletin – philippines)

“The [Imperial College London] team behind the research said it was vital for governments to ensure that people living with the three killers [HIV, TB, and malaria] continued to have access to diagnosis and treatment even while health systems are stretched by COVID-19.” READ MORE

7/14/20: COVID-19 Ripple Effect May Raise HIV, TB and Malaria Death Tolls? (VOA)

“TB deaths increase the most under this scenario by 20% over the next five years, as untreated patients spread the disease.” READ MORE

7/14/20: What Happens When A Pandemic And An Epidemic Collide (NPR)

“The biggest worry is that patients won’t be able to get the AIDS drugs they need because closed borders can interfere with drug shipments; or because quarantines have slowed down work in industries including drug manufacturing; or because economic losses will threaten funding for AIDS prevention programs from some governments.” READ MORE

7/14/20: COVID-19: How to address Africa’s disease burden amidst a pandemic (cnbc africa)

“The Access to Medicine Foundation says after decades of investment for ending HIV, malaria and tuberculosis pandemics, the progress made in protecting children from these diseases is now at risk due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” READ MORE

7/14/20: Complicating the Coronavirus Lockdown Debate (contagion live)

“In areas with substantial prior health care resource strains, the [Imperial College London researchers] even note that years of life lost (defined as the number of years a person would have been expected to live had they not died of a particular cause) could in some cases be of similar scale to the biological impact of the pandemic itself.” READ MORE

7/14/20: The developing world faces a health, economic and security crisis that will dwarf the impact of Covid (the telegraph – united kingdom)

“If no action is taken, the diversion of health resources [to COVID-19] could mean the annual death toll from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria doubling.” READ MORE

7/14/20: Surge in HIV, TB and Malaria Deaths Predicted Following COVID-19 Pandemic (technology network)

“Much of the gain made in malaria control over the last decade has been due to the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, which many Sub-Saharan Africa countries planned to distribute in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely disrupt these distributions, as well as other core health services, resulting in more malaria cases and deaths.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study by Imperial college london (the lancet global health)

“In settings with high burdens of HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria, disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic could cause an increase in deaths due to HIV of up to 10%, due to tuberculosis of up to 20%, and due to malaria of up to 36%, over 5 years compared with if no COVID-19 pandemic occurred. In settings with high burdens of HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria, maintaining a continuity of services and recovering programs should be a high priority to reduce the broader health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” READ MORE

7/13/20: How the covid-19 pandemic is making malaria and HIV more deadly (new scientist)

“Testing for HIV has also been hampered, meaning an increased risk of transmission because people will be unaware they have it, says Atkins. For TB, which already kills around 4000 people daily, a reduction in diagnosis and treatment is the biggest concern.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Study predicts surge in HIV, TB and malaria deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic (thomson reuters foundation)

“The knock-on impact of COVID-19 could undo some of the significant progress against [HIV, TB, and malaria] made over the past two decades, compounding the burden caused by the pandemic directly.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Ghana’s death statistics and COVID-19: There are worse killers (graphic – ghana)

“Ghana’s 129 recorded casualties from COVID-19 over the last six months thus remain the lowest (about 1 death per day) in terms of contribution to the total death figures of the country. It is therefore of essence that the Health Officials maintain high level of focus to treat patients of diseases that have real impact on the country’s overall death such as malaria, heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Africa Can’t Afford COVID-19 Tradeoffs (project syndicate)

“Already, some African countries have paused programs providing TB and HIV treatments and diagnostics, and suspended distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) – essential to protect against malaria – right before the high-transmission rainy season.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Peter Sands breaks down the ‘huge amount at stake’ for HIV progress (devex)

“COVID-19 lockdowns have had a drastic impact on both treatment and prevention of HIV. The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, while local mobility restrictions have affected distribution of antiretroviral drugs and other medicines.” READ MORE

7/13/20: Study suggests potential surge in HIV, TB, and malaria deaths due to coronavirus (bournemouth echo – united kingdom)

“For TB, the greatest impact [from COVID-19] is predicted to be from reductions in timely diagnosis and treatment of new cases.” READ MORE

7/12/20: PEPFAR’s response to the convergence of the HIV and COVID19 pandemics in SubSaharan Africa (JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL AIDS SOCIETY)

“The COVID‐19 pandemic may pose significant risks to the continuity of HIV services, especially in countries with high HIV prevalence and weak and over‐burdened health systems. Although there is currently limited understanding of how COVID‐19 affects [people living with HIV (PLHIV)], it is imperative that public health systems and academic centres monitor the impact of COVID‐19 on PLHIV. The general principles of the HIV programme adaptation guidance from PEPFAR prioritize protecting the gains in the HIV response while minimizing in‐person home and facility visits and other direct contact when COVID‐19 control measures are in effect. PEPFAR‐supported clinical, laboratory, supply chain, community and data reporting systems can play an important role in mitigating the impact of COVID‐19 in sub‐Saharan Africa.” READ MORE

7/11/20: Non-Covid-19 patients left in the lurch as virus swamps hospitals (Deccan herald – india)

“A UN study concluded that for every month of lockdown, India may witness an additional 71,000 TB deaths and more than 232,000 TB cases over the next five years.” READ MORE

7/10/20: COVID-19: Re-tooling Nigeria’s public health delivery model? (The Guardian – Nigeria)

“In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis, many individuals died due to the inability of the overwhelmed health systems to treat malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis than from Ebola itself. A similar trend can only be avoided in the aftermath of this fight against COVID-19 if efforts are geared towards putting in place a proactive, revolutionary and easily affordable and accessible health services delivery model [in Nigeria] that can ride on strong deployment of technology to strengthen healthcare accessibility at the grassroots.”  READ MORE

7/9/20: covid-19 and other diseases (london review of books)

“According to figures compiled by researchers at McGill University, the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to cause an additional 400,000 malaria deaths this year; an additional 700,000 HIV-related deaths in Africa alone; and up to 1.4 million additional tuberculosis deaths by 2025. The list continues: at least 80 million children under one are at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella and polio, as routine immunization services have been disrupted in almost 70 countries.” READ MORE

7/9/20: COVID-19 pandemic disrupts crucial supply of life-saving HIV medicine for millions (globe and mail – canada)

“A separate study by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria found that at least three-quarters of the fund’s programs in 106 countries, including 85 per cent of its HIV programs, were suffering disruptions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.” READ MORE

7/9/20: Nigeria: COVID-19 – Group Cautions Against Retrogression in Anti Malaria Drive (all africa)

“Vulnerable communities where health care services are underserved…are under the threat of COVID-19 and are at the risk of a resurgence of malaria, HIV and TB. As the resources that used to serve these communities which were inadequate to begin with is stretched to serve the needs of COVID-19, alongside the economic downturn occasioned by the lockdown could result in nutritional deficiencies and collapse of services.” READ MORE

7/9/20: Hospitals overwhelmed as Johannesburg runs out of oxygen (the telegraph – united kingdom)

“The soaring coronavirus caseload is wreaking havoc on South Africa’s other major health crises: the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics. Almost five million South Africans are on life-saving antiretroviral drugs but in recent weeks the delivery of this HIV therapy has been severely disrupted by the pandemic.” READ MORE

7/9/20: What Toll Will COVID-19 Take on Tuberculosis and HIV Treatment? (the wire, science – india)

“TB patients often have lung damage, and it is possible that they might have poorer outcomes [from COVID-19] if they also developed pneumonia due to coronavirus.” READ MORE

7/8/20: Coronavirus latest: US tops 3 million coronavirus cases (Deutsche Welle – germany)

“The UNAIDS and WHO can only estimate, but they are estimating half-a-million additional deaths due to a lack of supplies. The issue with HIV is that you have to take the medication every day. And if you do not have medication for months or even a week, you might develop resistance against the medication. And then it won’t work anymore.” READ MORE

7/8/20: HIV funding is dwindling. Who will fill the gap? (devex)

“As the novel coronavirus continues to squeeze government budgets, experts note there are more questions and uncertainties on the future of HIV funding. UNAIDS estimates a shortfall of 30% in the overall amount needed to effectively respond to HIV in 2020.”  READ MORE

7/8/20: U.S. exit from WHO will jeopardize global fight against COVID-19, polio, other diseases, experts say (nbc news)

“The U.S. departure could also threaten other WHO programs that seek to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and ensure vaccinations for children and safe childbirth in poorer countries.” READ MORE

7/7/20: ‘Leaving the WHO Will Hurt Americans’ Health (foreign policy)

“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to double the death toll from HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.” READ MORE

7/7/20: Foreign Aid Is A Key Part Of U.S. Foreign Policy (patch – new york)

“In addition to addressing immediate COVID-19 needs, the [Congressional earmark] takes a holistic approach to global health and seeks to accelerate the strengthening of health systems in low- and middle-income countries to manage health threats and communicable diseases, which we know all too well do not respect borders. To help sustain progress against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria, the earmark provides $5.93 billion for global HIV/AIDS activities, including $1.56 billion for the Global Fund and clarifies the U.S. commitment to maintaining our 33% share.’” READ MORE

7/7/20: Coronavirus lockdowns seen increasing HIV risk to women and girls (times of india)

“UNAIDS urged countries to increase investment in both HIV and COVID-19, citing the Ebola outbreak in western Africa as an example of what could go wrong.” READ MORE

7/7/20: Odisha COVID-19 lockdown: Five-day shutdown ordered in urban pockets of Ganjam after spike in coronavirus cases (FINANCIAL EXPRESS – INDIA)

“Apart from checking symptoms for COVID-19, the health teams [conducting door-to-door screening] would also collect data on diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.” READ MORE

7/6/20: Coronavirus-induced disruption in resources may cause 1 million extra deaths due to other diseases (Wion news – india)

“The coronavirus pandemic has absorbed the focus of all health agencies and relief groups, leaving in the lurch many suffering life-threatening diseases like HIV, AIDS, and TB.”  READ MORE

7/6/20: Efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic could cause over 1 million extra deaths from other diseases, experts warn (CNN)

“‘The social distancing efforts and lockdowns to control the spread of it [coronavirus], have disrupted HIV prevention and treatment programs and put vital HIV research on hold,’ said Dr. Anton Pozniak, president of the International AIDS Society, last week, ahead of the AIDS2020 conference.”  READ MORE

7/6/20: UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic shows that 2020 targets will not be met because of deeply unequal success; COVID-19 risks blowing HIV progress way off course (unaids)

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the AIDS response and could disrupt it more. A six-month complete disruption in HIV treatment could cause more than 500,000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa over the next year (2020–2021), bringing the region back to 2008 AIDS mortality levels. Even a 20% disruption could cause an additional 110,000 deaths.”  READ MORE

7/6/20: When one pandemic disrupts another: The story of the coronavirus and HIV (THE WASHINGTON POST)

“Arguably, if people cannot access PrEP and testing and are just unable to do the things they need to do to keep themselves safe, we might see a slowing in the reduction in HIV infections.” READ MORE

7/6/20: MSF (Doctors without borders) welcomes johnson & johnson price cut on lifesaving tb drug as an important step forward (Médicins sans frontières)

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has further advised countries to treat people with drug resistant-TB in the safety of their homes by using all-oral regimens, including Bedaquiline, instead of injections that require people to visit clinics, where they could possibly be exposed to other patients who have contracted the novel coronavirus.”  READ MORE

7/6/20: AMREF Donates Over Sh.180m To Support Fight Against Covid-19 In Nine Counties (kenya news)

“According to a Program Director, HIV, TB, Malaria and Non-Communicable Diseases at African Medical and Research Foundation, Dr. Bernard Langat, nine counties [in Kenya] would each receive 20 million Kenyan Shillings that would also address emerging issue like drastic drop in the number of patients seeking treatment in hospital due to COVID-19 fears.”  READ MORE

7/6/20: Efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic could cause over 1 million extra deaths from other diseases, experts warn (abc news 7)

“‘This year’s pandemic and the Ebola 2014 epidemic “are very similar in certain ways,’ said Dr. Emanuele Capobianco, director of health and care for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. ‘I remember there was a very huge spike for malaria, because malaria was not being diagnosed. To alleviate this, tests were taken out to the community, allowing malaria to be diagnosed and treated more easily.’”  READ MORE

7/4/20: I hope Metro extends to airport, Whitefield: Consulate-General of Japan (the new indian express)

“In addition to over 600,000 COVID-19 cases in the country and over 6,000 cases in Bengaluru, diseases like tuberculosis and malaria are also rampant.”  READ MORE

7/4/20: Let’s not forget tuberculosis while fighting COVID (the jakarta post – indonesia)

“The impact of reduced availability and use of TB services [due to COVID-19 lockdowns] is that 6.3 million more people will fall ill due to TB by 2025 and 1.4 million more will die if immediate action is not taken. This puts the world at infection levels last seen five to eight years ago.”  READ MORE

7/3/20: Are we pacing-up the diagnosis facilities for killer diseases like TB amidst COVID-19? (express healthcare – india)

“With the ongoing pandemic, there is a significant risk that prevention and treatment programs for the existing conditions will be disrupted. Therefore, it is essential to plan and monitor the procurement and supply of TB medicines and diagnostics that are not disturbed and available to the affected individuals.”  READ MORE

7/2/20: Swapping production of malaria tests for covid-19 tests requires an urgent response (the british medical journal)

“…Several diagnostic companies have suggested that production dedicated to the most widely used malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) will be reallocated to covid-19 RDTs. Without malaria RDTs, healthcare workers in high endemic countries will resort to presumptive treatment, risking inappropriate use of antimalarials and development of drug resistance. This will eventually lead to an increased demand for artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which is already facing supply difficulties due to the covid-19 pandemic.”  READ MORE

7/2/20: civil society organizations seek increased investment towards eradicating malaria (tvc news – nigeria)

“But civil society organizations in the malaria, tuberculosis and HIV response plan are concerned that funding could now dwindle for other interventions. The prevention and treatment services for various diseases have been severely disrupted since the [COVID-19] outbreak began. Major diseases like…HIV, Tuberculosis and others have experienced a shortfall in funding as regards response towards their prevention and control.”  READ MORE

7/2/20: COVID-19 response must incorporate TB, malaria, HIV programs as essential services (the jakarta post – indonesia)

“Hospitalized TB patients may experience respiratory failure, which usually need a ventilator to help them breathe. They must share the limited supply of ventilators with COVID-19 patients who have developed respiratory failure. The mortality rate is significantly higher in patients whose need for a ventilator cannot be met.”  READ MORE

7/2/20: A new deal could ease Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis. The international community must get behind it. (THE WASHINGTON POST)

“Long before Venezuela confirmed its first case of COVID-19, the country was facing a humanitarian emergency: Malnutrition was on the rise; vaccine-preventable diseases that had been eradicated, like measles and diphtheria, returned; and infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis spiked. Health professionals struggled, as basic utilities blinked on and off at health-care facilities and many colleagues emigrated, driving a steady decline in health-care operational capacity.” READ MORE

7/2/20: COVID-19: How 170 Missed Out On ARV Care During Lockdown (nigerian tribune)

“Dr Olajide, [of the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria] however, declared that since June, the number of clients coming to the clinics for ARVs [in Oyo State] had improved, adding that ‘our clients now take at least three months of drugs so that it decongests the clinic and lockdown will not be an issue.’” READ MORE

7/2/20: Africa should not be complacent with Covid-19 fatality rate – Director of African Centres for Disease Control (joy news – ghana)

“‘We have to know that there are other forces that are playing against us and could play against us [and contribute to a spike in coronavirus cases], those include endemic diseases that we have for example the tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and malnutrition will play against us. And also the rising number of non-communicable diseases will also play against us,’ said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”  READ MORE

7/1/20: ‘THE WORK MUST GO ON’ – UNINTERRUPTED HELP FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV & TB DURING COVID-19 (united nations development programme)

“Responding to COVID-19 lockdown logistical challenges, the United Nations Development Programme, Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health, the Sudanese National Medical Supplies Fund, and World Food Programme collaborated to ensure 17 containers of HIV and TB medication and laboratory supplies continued to reach those in need [in Sudan].” READ MORE

7/1/20: COVID-19 and the Most Vulnerable (harvard medical school)

“‘The coronavirus pandemic has generated a massive international response in part because it is afflicting people in richer countries and interfering with the global economy, while other diseases that ravage poorer countries, like Ebola virus disease, malaria and tuberculosis, are often ignored,’ said Eugene Richardson, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.” READ MORE

7/1/20: Let us not allow Covid-19 crowd out other, even deadlier, diseases (daily nation – kenya)

“The resources needed to treat [AIDS, TB, cholera, malaria, polio] could run out as they are repurposed for COVID-19. According to Dr. John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), hospitals are so overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases that they’re redirecting medical staff, running short on supplies and suspending other key health services.” READ MORE

6/30/20: Flattening the malaria and COVID-19 curves (the hill)

“It turns out, investing in flattening the malaria curve will help us flatten the COVID-19 curve. In the same way that U.S. hospitals postponed elective surgeries to clear beds for COVID patients, it is essential that countries with a high malaria burden have effective malaria prevention programs to ensure their hospitals and clinics have the capacity needed for COVID patients.” READ MORE

6/30/20: The poor lose again: Impact of Covid-19 on Africa (daily maverick – south africa)

“COVID-19 afflicts older people most severely. The disease is expected to have relatively low mortality rates in Africa compared to other regions. While Africa benefits from its younger population, this is offset by its comorbidities like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In addition, vulnerabilities caused by poverty, poor nutrition, weak healthcare systems, crowded settlements, and inadequate access to clean water and sanitation are likely to lead to higher death tolls, offsetting the demographic age advantage.” READ MORE

6/30/20: Malaria elimination at risk as Ghana economy improves (science and development network)

“In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, where lockdowns have limited access to health facilities and preventive malaria interventions have been interrupted, there is a risk that the recent progress made by Ghana in the fight against malaria will be reversed.” READ MORE

6/30/20: Red Cross molecular lab can test other infectious diseases, says Gordon (manila bulletin – philippines)

“The primary purpose why [the Philippines Red Cross] put up molecular laboratories is that [the Philippines Red Cross] wants to help the country respond to COVID-19 by providing facilities where our people can be tested. But soon, we will also start testing for other diseases, [such as tuberculosis, HIV, dengue, malaria, hepatitis, leptospirosis and Zika.]” READ MORE

6/29/20: Sierra Leone tackling malaria amidst COVID-19 outbreak response (world health organization africa)

“‘A special strategy was needed to carry out the distribution of the [4.6 million] bed nets in these COVID-19 hotspot communities. Safety of the frontline personnel implementing the interventions and safety of the beneficiaries was carefully thought out to mitigate people getting infected with COVID-19 in the process of protecting them from malaria,’ says Evans Liyosi, WHO Country Representatives in Sierra Leone.”  READ MORE

6/29/20: Will the U.S. Congress Rise to the Moment and Save Lives? Or Will They Let COVID-19 Roll Back Years of Fragile Gains Against HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria? (health gap)

“HIV, TB, and malaria are global emergencies that kill 2.8 million people per year – a staggering loss of life that nevertheless represents progress from the worst days of the pandemics. COVID-19 is threatening to roll the clock back to the peak of the epidemics, before PEPFAR and the Global Fund existed, before the current life-saving antiretroviral treatment regimens existed, to the days when an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence.” READ MORE

6/29/20: COVID-19 and HIV: What You Need to Know (poz)

“Jeff Taylor, a longtime treatment activist and advocate for long-term survivors, is working on a study that aims to follow a cohort of HIV-positive and…HIV-negative people age 50 or older to see who [contracts] the coronavirus, what kind of immune responses they mount and what the course of disease looks like over time. An important part of that will be studying the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 to see if this triggers posttraumatic stress disorder from the AIDS pandemic…and how well people cope.” READ MORE

6/29/20: COVID-19 and Food Security: Crisis Within a Crisis (borgen magazine)

“In developing countries where people already deal with common diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diarrhea, quality nutrition is vitally important. Worldwide, there were an estimated 150 million children suffering from malnutrition before COVID-19. Additional studies show that nutrition is vital to the successful functioning of one’s immune system, especially when combating COVID-19 and other diseases.” READ MORE

6/29/20: MOZAMBIQUE: Situation report (united nations office for coordination of humanitarian affairs)

“Prior to COVID-19, multiple disease outbreaks—including cholera and malaria—were already stretching Mozambique’s weak health systems and 94 health centers were damaged during the cyclones. Critical services—such as sexual and reproductive health care, immunization activities and continuity of care for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and cholera—are expected to be disrupted as resources shift to the COVID-19 response, potentially increasing maternal and infant deaths.” READ MORE

6/29/20: The real impact of COVID-19 on emerging markets (pharmaphorum)

“With scarce government resources channeled into testing and treatment of COVID-19, longstanding challenges such as tackling diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis (TB), malaria and AIDS are at risk of being neglected. Together with respiratory tract infections, these conditions normally account for more than 90% of deaths in emerging nations” READ MORE

6/29/20: COVID-19: Overcoming the challenge of community transmission (the cable – nigeria)

“A good number of gene-expert test machines that were previously being used to test for tuberculosis have now been converted to test for COVID-19 infections in some [Nigerian] government hospitals.” READ MORE

6/28/20: Canada pledges $300 million to address humanitarian concerns of COVID-19 abroad (canadian broadcasting corportion)

“International Development Minister of Canada Karina Gould has repeatedly stressed that Canadians’ safety is linked to the success of stamping out COVID-19 abroad, and that there can be no rolling back of existing spending, or else there could be new flare-ups of preventable diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and malaria.” READ MORE

6/28/20: covid-19 could roll back gains made in hiv fight (the standard – kenya)

“Currently, [UNAIDS is] looking at two colliding pandemics, (HIV and COVID-19), and we are responding by giving advice to governments on their responses. In at least 11 countries UNAIDS is leading the UN system on the task force on COVID-19. We advise governments that the COVID-19 response must be multi-sectoral because a pandemic isn’t just a health issue.” READ MORE

6/26/20: Coronavirus accelerates in Africa as economic damage deepens (axios)

“If health care doesn’t continue to provide the essential gains that have been provided over the last decade, you could see as many as 10 times as many deaths from malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious disease causes as from COVID even in a large COVID outbreak, Tom Frieden, former CDC director, warns.” READ MORE

6/25/20: Death, debt and opportunity: cost of COVID-19 in Africa (Institute for security studies)

“With Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, resources diverted from basic health care prompted increases in malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB and maternal mortality. If the same happens with COVID-19, then HIV, TB and malaria deaths may increase by up to 36% in Africa over five years.” READ MORE

6/25/20: Coronavirus fears leave pregnant papua new guinea women at risk despite nation’s low infection rate (abc news – australia)

“ChildFund said the treatment and management of the disease amid the coronavirus pandemic was a major concern. It is said some rural health facilities [in Papua New Guinea] had already halted some tuberculosis treatment services because staff lacked training on how to manage COVID-19 cases and tuberculosis had similar symptoms to coronavirus.” READ MORE

6/25/20: Mumbai can see flattening of COVID curve by mid-July, normalcy of life by August: Health expert (economic times – india)

“In the coming days, we are going to face another challenge for COVID-19 treatment as we will have patients suffering from fever due to malaria, dengue or other monsoon related diseases. And then, it will be more difficult to segregate COVID and non-COVID patients.” READ MORE

6/25/20: Germany ramps up its contribution to the HIV response with an extra €20 million to UNAIDS (unaids)

“Modelling suggests that an unmitigated six-month interruption of HIV services due to COVID-19 could double AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, setting the clock on AIDS-related deaths in the region back to 2008, and could increase new pediatric HIV infections by up to 162%.” READ MORE

6/25/20: Ensuring continuity of tuberculosis care during the covid-19 crisis (the british medical journal)

“Despite rising case numbers, many countries are now starting to ease lockdowns and restrictions. This will result in a large surge of people seeking care after weeks of deferring medical consultations. They will present with more advanced TB disease for two reasons: long delays in diagnosis of undiagnosed patients and interrupted treatment for those who had TB when lockdowns were imposed.” READ MORE

6/25/20: COVID-19 Could Cause a Shortage of HIV Meds This Summer (unaids)

“The UNAIDS report flagged six pharmaceutical ingredients that are in high demand for HIV generic meds and are at greater risk for shortages. UNAIDS recommends that governments and suppliers take steps now to ensure a steady supply of meds.” READ MORE

6/24/20: The pandemic could erase 20 years of progress against tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malaria, an NGO warns (the new york times)

“In low-income nations, the pandemic may erase 20 years of hard-fought progress against tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malaria, diseases that together claim more than 2.4 million lives each year.” READ MORE

6/24/20: Fight against malaria, TB and HIV hit as resources diverted to Covid-19, survey shows (The Daily telegraph – United Kingdom)

“The survey shows that HIV and TB laboratory services are under huge pressure, with 20 per cent experiencing high or very high levels of disruption with many now focused on testing for COVID-19.” READ MORE

6/24/20: Global Fund COVID-19 Report: Deaths from HIV, TB and Malaria Could Almost Double in 12 Months Unless Urgent Action is Taken (yahoo finance)

“[The Global Fund] estimates that approximately US$28.5 billion is required for the next 12 months to adapt HIV, TB and malaria programs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, to train and protect health workers, to reinforce systems for health so they do not collapse, and to respond to COVID-19 itself, particularly through testing, tracing and isolation and by providing treatments as they become available (this does not include the cost of a vaccine).” READ MORE

6/24/20: IdeaStream 2020 goes virtual (mirage news)

“Prior to the pandemic, the Hadley D. Sikes Lab had developed immunoassays using engineered binding proteins that successfully identified markers for malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue. Now they have applied that technology to develop a rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test. The paper-based tests would be easily administered by anyone, with results expected within 10 minutes.” READ MORE

6/24/20: Global Fund COVID-19 Report – Deaths From HIV, TB and Malaria Could Almost Double in 12 Months Unless Urgent Action Is Taken (all africa)

“The Global Fund estimates that countries affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria urgently need US$28.5 billion to protect the extraordinary progress achieved in the fight against the three diseases in the past two decades.” READ MORE

6/24/20: UNAIDS Executive Director sets out HIV/COVID-19 landscape at opening of PCB meeting (unaids)

“Even before COVID-19 [UNAIDS was] not on track to meet our targets for 2020. Now the COVID-19 crisis risks blowing us way off course. As a Joint Program, we must address the deeper challenges to recover from this crisis to beat both pandemics and foster safe, equitable and resilient societies,” [said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS].” READ MORE

6/23/20: Quarantine is key to stemming the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s not easy, says deputy health minister Joe Phaahla (daily maverick – south africa)

“The surge plan involves deploying 10,000 volunteers to screen 1.6 million households in the province, with 100 doctors working closely with 1,000 nurses in communities. Professional nurses will be assigned to community healthcare workers to support them. They are all being provided with equipment to also test blood pressure, TB and malaria.” READ MORE

6/23/20: National Budget 2020/21: Where Will Rwanda Spend The Money? (kt press)

“Dr. Ndagijimana said that a portion of the money [from the national budget] will go towards continuing awareness campaigns and prevention measures against the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic as well as treatment for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Some 61 billion [Rwandan francs] will go into sustaining the fight against malaria and other epidemic diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.” READ MORE

6/23/20: Joining forces to prevent 1.4 million TB deaths (jakarta post – indonesia)

“It is estimated that globally, a three-month lockdown and a protracted 10-month restoration period could lead to an additional 6.3 million people falling ill with TB and an additional 1.4 million TB deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2025. This would result in a setback of at least five to eight years in the fight against TB, bringing global TB incidence and deaths to levels not seen since 2013 or 2016.” READ MORE

6/23/20: National Budget 2020/21: Where Will Rwanda Spend The Money? (kt press)

“Dr. Ndagijimana said that a portion of the money [from the national budget] will go towards continuing awareness campaigns and prevention measures against the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic as well as treatment for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Some 61 billion [Rwandan francs] will go into sustaining the fight against malaria and other epidemic diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.” READ MORE

6/23/20: Indonesia children at risk as COVID-19 disrupts vaccination drive (al jazeera)

“More than 80 percent of inoculation programs in Indonesia have been disrupted by COVID-19, and the government says it is trying to get them back on track, with the health ministry advising provinces on how to continue vaccinating, safely. But even a brief pause in these essential programs could put millions of children’s lives at risk.” READ MORE

6/23/20: At ASM Microbe, White House’s Deborah Birx Urges COVID-19 Test Pooling and Community Outreach (360 dx)

“Deborah Birx: I have always found that if the community is informed about the science, and understands why it is important, the community will respond to that knowledge and stop pandemics. We’ve seen it with TB, HIV, malaria, and Ebola — an informed community is a protected community.” READ MORE

6/22/20: Poverty Dramatically Increases COVID-19 Death Risk, Researchers Say (voa news)

“’HIV-, TB- and malaria-related deaths over the next five years in high burden settings may be increased by up to 10, 20 and 36 respectively,’ Peter Winskill of Imperial College London said.” READ MORE

6/22/20: COVID-19 could affect the availability and cost of antiretroviral medicines, but the risks can be mitigated (unaids)

“The production of antiretroviral medicines has been affected by several factors. Air and sea transport is being severely curtailed, hampering the distribution of the raw materials and other products…that pharmaceutical companies need to manufacture the medicines. Physical distancing and lockdowns are also restricting the levels of human resources available in manufacturing facilities. The combined result of shortages of materials and workforces could lead to supply issues and pressure on prices in the coming months, with some of the regimens for first-line treatment and those for children projected to be the severest hit.” READ MORE

6/20/20: Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing In Containment Zones, Hospitals: ICMR To States (business world – india)

“Rapid antigen-based detection assays have been used successfully for early diagnosis of diseases like Malaria, Leishmania, viral and bacterial respiratory infections etc. Such tests can be used as point of care diagnostics in field settings and have minimal biosafety and biosecurity requirements. In view of this, [Indian Council of Medical Research] had been exploring alternate quick and reliable options for diagnosis of COVID-19.” READ MORE

6/20/20: Watch: ‘Stringent lockdowns alone are not the solution’ says WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan (Scroll – india)

“Apart from dealing with COVID-19, people are getting infected with other diseases. Babies are being born, children have to be immunized and antenatal care has to be provided. Tuberculosis hasn’t gone anywhere, and neither has malaria, it’s even more important now that we don’t forget about all of those things that have traditionally killed millions of people every year, particularly in the lower-income countries.” READ MORE

6/16/20: COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS IN LOW- AND MIDDLE- INCOME COUNTRIES: SUCCESSES AGAINST COVID 19 AT THE PRICE OF GREATER COSTS (THE SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL JOURNAL – SOUTH AFRICA)

“In [South Africa], testing for TB decreased by 50%, from a weekly average of 49 109 tests during the 7 weeks pre-lockdown to an average of 24 620 during the 5-week level 5 lockdown period, and remained at this rate through level 4 lockdown. During the level 5 lockdown, there has been a 22% reduction in average weekly HIV-1 viral load testing (measured annually in people living with HIV to monitor HIV antiretroviral treatment) These decreases suggest possible treatment interruptions, and missed appointments due to patient fear of SARSCoV-2 infection and violating travel restrictions in the context of widespread security force excesses.” READ MORE

6/19/20: Coronavirus: Why renewed focus on excess mortality could pose a challenge for India (Scroll – india)

“National Health Mission data point to a significant disruption in health services, including for potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer and tuberculosis. These patients will have experienced a severe degeneration in their conditions, including those with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, tuberculosis and heart disease. The health outcomes of such patients could increase overall mortality.” READ MORE

6/19/20: Lockdown impacting on HIV prevention programme for adolescent girls and young women (daily maverick – south africa)

“Under Levels 5 and 4 of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown regulations, adolescent girls and young women aged 14 to 24 years could not meet face-to-face in specially created safe spaces with counsellors, as part of a combination HIV intervention program. This [circumstance] has meant opportunities to encourage them to begin taking and adhering to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV were lost, putting them at higher risk of HIV infection.” READ MORE

6/19/20: The Latest: Portugal lashes out over EU virus restrictions (wboc news)

“RBM Partnership to End Malaria says there is an immediate need for another 105 million rapid testing kits for malaria this year. It says the COVID-19 pandemic and demand for testing kits and potential drugs is creating shortages and price increases of malaria testing kits and “active pharmaceutical ingredients” used in malaria medicines.” READ MORE

6/18/20: Welcoming early results on use of dexamethasone in sickest COVID-19 patients, WHO warns it’s ‘no cure-all’ (UN NEWS)

“While COVID-19 is touching every corner of the world, Mr. Tedros stressed the need to remain focused as well on essential public health concerns such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.” READ MORE

6/18/20: Covid-19 remains on focus; Treatment of TB, AIDS, malaria and child health loses priority (the policy times)

“According to the reports of Stop TB Partnership, during the lockdown period, there has been a 10% increase in TB deaths which means 1.4 million excess deaths.” READ MORE

6/18/20: How Covid is making it tougher to tackle TB, AIDS, malaria and child health (the print – india)

“A six-month interruption to the supply of antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to more than half a million excess deaths from HIV in 2020 alone.” READ MORE

6/17/20: COVID-19 disrupts essential health services in fragile settings; risks reversing health gains (world health organization)

“The disruption of routine health care services for a prolonged period may have a devastating impact, including: a 20% reduction in life-saving vaccination coverage…and a 13% increase in childhood mortality. A similar situation was also observed during the 2014–2015 outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Africa where analyses suggested that the increased number of deaths caused by measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis attributable to health system failures exceeded deaths that were directly attributable to Ebola virus disease.” READ MORE

6/17/20: The other infectious diseases spreading in the shadow of the pandemic (Vox)

“But as [immunization] campaigns are paused or cut back and as people miss routine care due to the coronavirus pandemic, [infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and polio] are getting a rare opportunity to come roaring back.” READ MORE

6/17/20: Understanding the Impact Of COVID-19 On Essential Medicine Supply Chains (Center for global development)

“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a number of challenges that have led to shortages and price hikes, and could potentially fuel an epidemic of fake and substandard medicines, including: severe supply chain blocks caused by significant decreases in air cargo capacity, sea freight, and transport logistics; export restrictions by supplier countries related to both COVID-specific commodities, the slowdown in production of medicines in affected countries.” READ MORE

6/17/20: Global Fund Survey: Majority of HIV, TB and Malaria Programs Face Disruptions as a Result of COVID-19 (the global fund)

“…Deaths from HIV, TB and malaria could as much as double in the coming years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out many years of hard-fought gains, unless we can urgently provide health workers with the training, resources and protective equipment they need to safely continue their work.” READ MORE

6/17/20: HIV patients fail to access ARVs (the herald – zimbabwe)

“Patients cannot afford the high cost of drugs in these COVID-19 times where supplies from pharmacies cost US $25.” READ MORE

6/16/20: Timely diagnosis is critical in healthcare (business daily)

“During this pandemic, there is a great need for policymakers in health to ensure that they strike a balance between the health response to COVID-19 with the need for continuous delivery of other health services such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, HIV, diabetes, respiratory illnesses like TB and other critical healthcare services amongst the entire population.” READ MORE

6/16/20: Compulsory licensing in COVID-19: Does it differ from the global HIV/AIDS pandemic? (times now – india)

“AbbVie voluntarily decided it would not enforce its global patent rights on Kaletra, [an antiretroviral approved for treatment of HIV], thus allowing countries to purchase generics of the drug if the drug is effective for COVID-19.” READ MORE

6/15/20: Virtual Hearing on the Impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa (united states house intelligence committee)

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Chairman Adam Schiff asked Amb. Thomas-Greenfield to explain how COVID-19 is affecting HIV and malaria around the world. Amb. Thomas-Greenfield noted that individuals have changed their health-seeking behavior to limit hospitals visits, even when ill. In addition, Amb. Thomas-Greenfield mentioned that “many HIV patients have been unable to retrieve their antiretroviral medications due to COVID. ” VIRTUAL HEARING

6/15/20: drc: covid-19 continues to spread, with potentially deadly secondary impacts (médecins sans frontières)

“Many people fear they will be infected with the virus by going to health facilities deemed under-equipped with [PPE], or they fear being isolated and stigmatized for a long time due to the delays in obtaining test results. This situation affects the care of sick people and the monitoring of their treatment, especially for conditions such as diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.” READ MORE

6/15/20: Covid-19 fuelling mother and child mortality rates (hindustan times – india)

“During the monsoons, there is a rise in malaria and vaccine-preventable diarrhea, pneumonia and measles, which are the biggest cause of under-5 deaths in India. If childhood vaccines are missed, [infant mortality rate], malnutrition and stunting will rise and prevent India from meeting its Sustainable Development Goal of bringing IMR down to 25 or less by 2030.” READ MORE

6/14/20: Health minister explains Uganda’s false COVID positives (the observer – uganda)

“The number of diagnosed and treated malaria cases [in Uganda] increased by 56 per cent between January and April 2020 compared to the same period last year.” READ MORE

6/13/20: Pandemic Perspective: What The 20 Poorest And Richest Countries Spend On Health Care (capital public radio)

“People will drastically reduce their use of very important measures that are available to address other causes of disease and mortality. They will stop getting immunized because they’re afraid to go to the clinic. They will stop getting more treatment for tuberculosis, malaria, [HIV] or other problems that are prevalent.” READ MORE

6/13/20: Reason for hope as Africa responds to the Covid 19 pandemic-research (independent online – south africa)

“It is estimated that about 769,000 people could die from malaria alone if funding and campaigns are suspended due to this COVID-19 pandemic.” READ MORE

6/13/20: Tata Trusts-backed India Health Fund to promote start-ups developing means to fight diseases like COVID-19 (businesss today – india)

“We were so far concentrating on malaria and tuberculosis and will soon work with the government agencies, national and international foundations and private corporations to raise funds targeting a corpus of about [20 billion rupees] in the coming years to invest in technologies related to infectious diseases like COVID-19. “READ MORE

6/12/20: History of insightful HIV research inspires neutron scattering approach to studying COVID-19 (oak ridge national laboratory)

“The protease enzymatic activity that enables HIV to reproduce…is the same replication mechanism employed by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Now, a team [of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory] has shifted the focus of the experimental approach they intended to use to study HIV to combat the new global threat.” READ MORE

6/12/20: Malaria May Still Be 2020’s Biggest Killer (Foreign policy)

“…Disruptions to malaria prevention and treatment caused by the coronavirus could see malaria deaths double this year. The increase alone—estimated at the worst case to be 369,000—would almost equal the current confirmed death toll of COVID-19. With peak malaria season rapidly approaching in major malaria-endemic countries, the window of time in which to avoid disaster is rapidly closing.” READ MORE

6/12/20: Service Members at 2 U.S. Embassies Aid in Protective Equipment Transfer (United states dept. of defense)

“Together, we are working to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people who are most vulnerable to contracting this disease and to preserve the advances Eswatini has made in the fight against HIV and AIDS.” READ MORE

6/11/20: Why South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak could be a ‘catalyst for transformation’ (national geographic)

“For years, South Africa’s public health-care sector has tried to integrate its relatively well-resourced but stand-alone HIV and TB programs with its under-resourced general health services. The coronavirus crisis could be a catalyst for this transformation.” READ MORE

6/11/20: Kenya’s Covid-19 death toll rises to 92 after 3 new fatalities (Daily nation – kenya)

“The Health ministry said it needed funds to manage cancer and hypertension, infectious diseases such as TB, epidemics such as malaria, and carry out immunization programmes.” READ MORE

6/11/20: ODISHA TO CONDUCT STATE-WIDE DOOR-TO-DOOR SURVEILLANCE CAMPAIGN AGAINST COVID-19 (NDTV – INDIA)

“As the next few weeks are critical in controlling the spread of coronavirus as well as monsoon-induced communicable diseases, the [Odisha] Health Department will conduct a campaign for active surveillance against COVID-19, co-morbidities, TB, malaria and diarrhea,” READ MORE

6/11/20: Cost, benefits of fighting COVID-19 (Graphic – ghana)

“Models show that along with limiting COVID-19 deaths, moderate social distancing will also improve treatment of some diseases, such as, HIV, but reduce the effectiveness of other treatments, such as, those for malaria and tuberculosis.” READ MORE

6/10/20: Nigeria to cut healthcare spending by 40% despite coronavirus cases climbing (the guardian)

“Funding for local, primary healthcare services will be cut by more than 40% this year in a revised budget expected to be passed into law in the coming weeks. The proposed cuts could affect immunizations, childcare, maternal healthcare and family planning services.” READ MORE

6/10/20: People with HIV, TB have twice the risk of death from coronavirus, report finds (The globe and mail)

“Overall, people with HIV or TB had a two or three times higher risk of dying from the coronavirus, the report suggested. But [the report] cautioned that it is difficult to disentangle the various risk factors that can combine to affect deaths, especially those such as obesity and poverty, where data is lacking.” READ MORE | PRESENTATION

6/10/20: ‘Flying blind’: Doctors race to understand what COVID-19 means for people with HIV (stat news)

“Drs. Cachay and Shapiro are leading a team examining the records of people living with HIV who have also had COVID-19. They plan to add coronavirus antibody testing to upcoming patient appointments so they can include in their study people who had asymptomatic or mild cases of the disease without knowing they were sick. READ MORE

6/9/20: Covid-like pandemics cast shadow on developing medicines for children (Business Line – India)

“Pandemics like the coronavirus COVID-19 disrupt even basic services and supply of treatments for many diseases including HIV, malaria and TB, with a consequent impact on mortality and infection rates.” READ MORE

6/9/20: In Kenya, A Chance to See Communities Confront COVID-19 (LinkedIn)

“[Community health workers] integrate COVID-19 related health messages to their malaria briefings in their visits to communities [in Homa Bay].” READ MORE

6/8/20: Rural India and coronavirus: Non-COVID patients suffer as healthcare services disrupted (CNBC Tv18)

“Health experts have been pointing to the negative impact of lockdown and government’s narrow approach to divert all health resources on controlling COVID-19 on other diseases and illnesses, such as TB, AIDS, and malaria. TB in particular requires regular medication, constant follow-ups and diagnosis.” READ MORE

6/7/20: Coronavirus disrupts HIV prevention efforts in Africa (The east african)

“Health workers and sex workers…came up with creative ways to ensure registered HIV patients continue receiving drugs: Home deliveries using bikes, multi-month refills. But HIV testing, PrEP, drop-in centres for vulnerable groups and medical male circumcision, were scaled back and sometimes closed completely — all of which are vital in detecting and preventing new infections.” READ MORE

6/7/20: Key populations abandoned as COVID-19 crackdowns undo Africa’s HIV efforts (Daily Monitor – Uganda)

“Uganda’s ban on public gatherings ruled out health talks for sex workers, fisher folk and other at-risk groups. When transport was prohibited, except for cargo trucks, most organizations grounded their health outreach teams.” READ MORE

6/6/20: How The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Impacted International Research Programs: A Personal Perspective (FORBES)

“We have already been asked to make provision for dealing with a 25% decrease in our budget due to funding redirection. This will have the impact of closures of some of our clinics and not being able to reach as many people for HIV prevention and care services.” READ MORE

6/5/20: COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa Threatens HIV Population (BORGEN)

“They caution global COVID-19 relief teams working in [Sub-Saharan Africa] to prepare for higher morbidity and mortality rates due to the already HIV-endemic setting.” READ MORE

6/4/20: COVID-19: “It was never an option for us to drop our regular medical services” (Medecins sans frontieres)

“In our HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C and non-communicable disease projects in countries as diverse as South Africa, Ukraine, Pakistan and Cambodia, we have reduced routine consultations and distributed essential drugs to patients for longer periods (one to six months depending on the person’s health condition) so that they do not have to visit a health facility as often.” READ MORE

6/2/20: 6,000 children could die daily over Covid-19 impact (Daily nation – kenya)

“Global disruption of essential maternal and child health interventions such as immunization, family planning, birth and postnatal care could lead to an additional 1.2 million deaths of under-fives in just six months.” READ MORE

6/2/20: Coronavirus Crisis Update: South Africa’s Difficult Truth (Center for strategic & international studies)

“Professor Salim Abdool Karim…surveys acute vulnerabilities of those living with HIV and TB… [during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa].” READ MORE

6/2/20: Africa’s sick get sicker as serious ailments are ignored in Covid-19 pandemic (Business Day – South Africa)

“In South Africa, which has the world’s largest HIV epidemic and 300,000 people with tuberculosis, fear of the coronavirus has emptied hospitals. Although clinics remain open, the number tested for TB has dropped by half, and HIV testing is down a quarter since the national lockdown began on March 27.” READ MORE

6/2/20: Kenyans Living Beyond Their 60s, Shows Report (All Africa)

“…Gains in the fight against malaria may be reversed during this COVID-19 crisis due to an overall shortage of services, while prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, have also been affected.” READ MORE

6/2/20: Just 6 years after Ebola killed more than 11,000 people, West African nations are bracing for a coronavirus spike (Business Insider)

“”People get scared not to go to the different health centers. They maybe might not be suffering from COVID-19 itself — it might be malaria, it might be HIV, it might be tuberculosis— and sometimes you find out when they rush with the child to the hospital that sometimes it’s already late.” READ MORE

6/2/20: In Peru’s Amazon, the church fills COVID-19 aid void for indigenous people (The New Humanitarian)

“Indigenous people…are at particular risk because they already suffer from high rates of food insecurity and non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes. [Indigenous people] are also affected by tuberculosis and tropical diseases like malaria and dengue. A severe outbreak of dengue last year strained the resources of hospitals in Peru’s Amazonian region, and there are still cases in some communities that must now deal with COVID-19.” READ MORE

6/1/20: HIV burden makes Homa Bay vulnerable to Covid-19, says MP (The Star – Kenya)

“MP Martin Owino said HIV patients are immuno-suppressed and could lose their lives should they contract the coronavirus.” READ MORE

6/1/20: Lockdown worsens plight of HIV, tuberculosis patients (DAILY MONITOR – UGANDA)

“Coronavirus has worsened the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS. Hunger has led to poor adherence to treatment. We have a number of patients who are in dire need.” READ MORE

6/1/20: India is Reporting Lesser Tuberculosis Deaths Owing to Diversion of Resources to COVID-19 Mitigation Programs (The New Leam)

“During the lockdown, reporting and documenting of deaths related to TB has been on a decline and this has not allowed us to [assess the] real extent of the problem. This lag in data collection and assimilation [is] to be blamed as one of the core reasons why there seems to be a steady decrease in the number of tuberculosis related deaths.” READ MORE

May 2020: Focus on COVID-19 (The Global Fund)

“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens us all and could destroy years of progress against HIV, TB and malaria.” READ MORE

5/31/20: HIV Cure Research Has Slowed, But Still Progresses (Contagion)

“Scientists conducting research on an HIV vaccine cure…have been repurposed and put to work researching promising therapies and vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus. I don’t see much happening [with HIV research] until we get the COVID-19 [vaccine]” READ MORE

5/27/20: Continuing essential service delivery in a pandemic: HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria solutions in action (PATH)

“HIV, TB, and malaria service delivery platforms are being leveraged to support the COVID-19 response while mitigating its impact on delivery of essential health services and protecting frontline health care providers.” READ MORE

5/27/20: Coronavirus hampers Africa’s fight against malaria, TB (Deutsche Welle)

“African countries have imposed tough measures against COVID-19. But it may come at the cost of other untreated diseases such as malaria and AIDS.” READ MORE

5/21/20: How coronavirus lockdowns stopped flu in its tracks (Nature)

“The international organization the Stop TB Partnership released a report in May estimating that a 3-month lockdown and a 10-month period of recovery would cause an additional 1.37 million deaths [from TB] globally during the next 5 years.” READ MORE

5/21/20: Lockdown Fears for Key Populations (The Lancet HIV)

“With much of the world’s population under COVID-19 lockdown, curfews, and travel restrictions, access to HIV testing and treatment services is a significant concern for people with HIV and those who provide care.” READ MORE

5/21/20: Uganda women fear food shortages will make coronavirus and HIV a deadly mix (Thomas Reuters Foundation)

“HIV-positive women in Uganda fear for their health as food shortages leave them unable to take medication.” READ MORE

5/21/20: WHO Predicts COVID-19 Will Take Heavy Toll in Africa (US News)

“[COVID-19] related increases in hospital care would divert already scarce resources for major health problems in Africa — such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition — which would worsen the impact of the new coronavirus, the study warns.” READ MORE

5/20/20: COVID-19 & PEPFAR: Implications for the Future (KFF)

“COVID-19 has the potential to deeply impact PEPFAR countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa and, as such, affect PEPFAR’s future trajectory.” READ MORE

5/20/20: How Have Organizations Adapted Their HIV Interventions During COVID-19? (Frontline AIDS)

“Together with experts from across the Frontline AIDS partnership we explored the changing needs of marginalised people, followed by a live discussion with people from communities affected by the pandemic.” READ MORE

5/20/20: COVID-19: Lockdown takes heavy toll on SA’s TB response (Spotlight)

“As South Africa nears day 55 of its COVID-19 lockdown, a new modelling study by the Stop TB Partnership suggests that the longer countries spend under lockdown, the more tuberculosis (TB) cases and deaths the world could see.” READ MORE

5/19/20: Almost 11,000 HIV-positive patients in Gauteng, South Africa have skipped ARV collection during lockdown (Sowetan Live)

“The Gauteng health department on Tuesday said it was trying to trace thousands of TB and HIV-positive patients who have failed to collect their medication since the start of the lockdown on March 27 2020.” READ MORE

5/19/20: The high possible cost of COVID-19 on new HIV infections among children (UNAIDS)

New modeling has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic could have a major impact on new HIV infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa.” READ MORE

5/17/20: COVID-19 Outbreak in Nigeria Is Just One of Africa’s Alarming Hot Spots (New York Times)

“Dozens of doctors are infected and gravediggers are overwhelmed in Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city, where inaction led to an unchecked outbreak. Across Africa, other hot spots are emerging.” READ MORE

5/17/20: Leading South Africa Health Experts Warn That COVID-19 Response is Hurting Other Health Priorities (GroundUp)

“Children are suffering increasingly from preventable infectious diseases, including TB and measles, due to missed vaccinations.” READ MORE

5/16/20: Over 145 TB patients die in Agra without treatment during lockdown (India Today)

“Over 145 tuberculosis patients have died in the past 54 days in Agra. The toll is more than six times the usual number of deaths from TB in the city.” READ MORE

5/14/20: COVID-19 likely to undo HIV/AIDS Gains (Daily Nation)

KENYA – “Due to stigma, many HIV clients choose to register for ARVs at public facilities that are far from their areas of residence. A number of health facilities have recorded a drastic reduction in the number of people showing up to collect their drug supplies.” READ MORE

5/12/20: Is COVID-19 making it harder to treat other diseases in Africa? (Al Jazeera)

“The coronavirus pandemic is putting enormous strain on health systems worldwide. In some countries, that means resources are being diverted from other treatments. Patients with illnesses such as HIV, tuberculosis or malaria risk having their treatment interrupted.” READ MORE

5/12/20: Watch: UNAIDS director warns of ‘colliding epidemics’ (Devex)

“Saying “the virus has found a very unequal world,” UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima warned that COVID-19 will hurt the most vulnerable, including people living with HIV.” READ MORE

5/11/20: AIDS, TB And Malaria Set To Get Deadlier Due To Coronavirus (Forbes)

“The ‘Big Three’ are predicted to get bigger. AIDS, TB and malaria are predicted to kill many more in the coming months and years. COVID-19 could potentially double the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 when compared with 2018.” READ MORE

5/11/20: AIDs deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa due to COVID-19 (RFI)

“The number of deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa could double if the provision of healthcare to HIV sufferers is disrupted during the coronavirus crisis, the United Nations said Monday.” READ MORE

5/10/20: Impact of COVID-19 Intervention on TB Testing in South Africa (National Institute for Communicable Diseases – South Africa)

“The COVID-19 level 5 restrictions has resulted in a ~ 48% average weekly decrease in TB Xpert testing volumes while, the number of TB positive declined by 33%.” READ MORE

5/8/20: Coronavirus pandemic could contribute to surge of other deadly diseases, experts warn (CNN)

“Cases of malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases could surge worldwide in coming months as global health systems rally to battle the coronavirus pandemic, global health experts tell CNN.” READ MORE