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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21259271


BackgroundAs of 26 March 2021, the Africa CDC had reported 4,159,055 cases of COVID-19 and 111,357 deaths among the 55 African Union Member States; however, no country has published a nationally representative serosurvey as of May 2021. Such data are vital for understanding the pandemics progression on the continent, evaluating containment measures, and policy planning. MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional, nationally representative, age-stratified serosurvey in Sierra Leone in March 2021 by randomly selecting 120 Enumeration Areas throughout the country and 10 randomly selected households in each of these. One to two persons per selected household were interviewed to collect information on socio-demographics, symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, exposure history to laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, and history of COVID-19 illness. Capillary blood was collected by fingerstick, and blood samples were tested using the Hangzhou Biotest Biotech RightSign COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette. Total seroprevalence was was estimated after applying sampling weights. FindingsThe overall weighted seroprevalence was 2.6% (95% CI 1.9-3.4). This is 43 times higher than the reported number of cases. Rural seropositivity was 1.8% (95% CI 1.0-2.5), and urban seropositivity was 4.2% (95% CI 2.6-5.7). InterpretationAlthough overall seroprevalence was low compared to countries in Europe and the Americas (suggesting relatively successful containment in Sierra Leone), our findings indicate enormous underreporting of active cases. This has ramifications for the countrys third wave (which started in June 2021), where the average number of daily reported cases was 87 by the end of the month--this could potentially be on the order of 3,700 actual infections, calling for stronger containment measures in a country with only 0.2% of people fully vaccinated. It may also reflect significant underreporting of incidence and mortality across the continent. FundingThis study was supported by NIAID K08 AI139361, the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, and the Africa CDC.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21258914


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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