The Guardian – Ben Doherty

Region faces thousands of deaths if intervention measures disrupted as Australia urged to makes coronavirus vaccines available to neighbours.

The global Covid-19 pandemic could derail efforts to control and eradicate malaria across the Pacific, with the potential for thousands of new cases and deaths, health experts have warned.

Malaria, one of the oldest diseases on Earth, remains one of its most significant killers: the mosquito-borne disease still kills 400,000 people a year, most of those children under five…

Beyond the health impacts of Covid-19 and efforts to distribute vaccines around the world, chief executive of Results International (Australia), Negaya Chorley, said Australia was surrounded by nations that will struggle with the secondary impacts of the pandemic.

“The Gates Foundation has estimated that the developing world lost 25 years of progress in just 25 weeks in 2020. The pandemic will leave a profound mark on developing countries which will be felt for years to come.

“As a result of Covid-19, TB, HIV and malaria rates are all set to rise, along with child and maternal mortality.”

Chorley said beyond the moral case for Australia supporting its neighbours, there were economic and political arguments for broad and sustained regional intervention.

“Australians see the benefit in supporting our neighbours … indeed we are ready to put our neighbours not just in the queue but at the head of the queue.”

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