Giving Compass’ Take:
• As more resources are directed toward addressing COVID-19, progress on lowering the number of deaths from other global infectious diseases is paused or significantly cut back.
• How can donors ensure that sufficient research is going toward other infectious diseases?
• Learn about the misconceptions of COVID-19 herd immunity.
In recent decades, the world has made dramatic progress in lowering the number of deaths from infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and polio. But as campaigns are paused or cut back and as people miss routine care due to the coronavirus pandemic, these illnesses are getting a rare opportunity to come roaring back.
Tuberculosis deaths were down worldwide almost 50 percent over the past two decades (to 1.3 million a year). But the illness is likely returning in many countries right now, and researchers estimate we could see as many as 1.4 million extra TB deaths over the next five years.
Malaria deaths, too, which have been falling for decades, are likely to rise. Previous disruptions to anti-malaria efforts (such as during recent Ebola outbreaks) led to thousands of additional deaths from the mosquito-borne virus. And polio, which has been on the cusp of global eradication in recent years, could come surging back in places that have been working diligently for decades to eliminate it.
Even in the US, where we have vanquished many of the most devastating infectious diseases, once-rare illnesses may rebound. As people under stay-at-home orders forgo routine medical care, including scheduled vaccinations for children, preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough will have more unprotected people to infect. And that puts not only more people at risk, but also more strain on the healthcare system.
“Any country is vulnerable when faced with multiple threats,” Claire Standley, a faculty member at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, told Vox in an email. “Those most at risk are the ones with limited human, material, and financial resources to support outbreak response.”
And this is already playing out. The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting Covid-19 alongside Ebola and the world’s largest outbreak of measles. And Yemen is battling Covid-19 in the midst of devastating armed conflict as well as a massive cholera outbreak.
Read the full article about coronavirus collateral damage by Katherine Harmon Courage at Vox.
Since you are interested in Diseases and Cures, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Diseases and Cures?
Looking for a way to get involved?
Learning with others and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Coronavirus, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities to connect with individuals like you.
Are you ready to give?
Coronavirus is an important topic. Other members found these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant to individuals with a passion for Coronavirus.