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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21258914

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BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented challenges to health systems worldwide, including the control of non-COVID-19 diseases. Malaria cases and deaths may increase due to the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic in malaria endemic countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). ObjectivesThis scoping review aims to summarize information on public health relevant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the malaria situation in SSA. MethodsReview of publications and manuscripts on preprint servers, in peer-reviewed journals and in grey literature documents from December 1, 2019, to June 9, 2021. A structured search was conducted on different databases using predefined eligibility criteria for the selection of articles. ResultsA total of 51 papers have been included in the analysis. Modeling papers have predicted a significant increase in malaria cases and malaria deaths in SSA due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many papers provided potential explanations for expected COVID-19 effects on the malaria burden; these ranged from relevant diagnostical and clinical aspects, to reduced access to health care services, impaired availability of curative and preventive commodities and medications, and effects on malaria prevention campaigns. Compared to previous years, fewer country reports provided data on the actual number of malaria cases and deaths in 2020, with mixed results. While highly endemic countries reported evidence of decreased malaria cases in health facilities, low endemic countries reported overall higher numbers of malaria cases and deaths in 2020. ConclusionsThe findings from this review provide evidence for a significant but diverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on malaria in SSA. There is the need to further investigate the public health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the malaria burden.

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