As the battle against the coronavirus pandemic rages, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed fear that more than half a million people in sub-Saharan Africa could die from AIDS-related illnesses between 2020 and 2021.

The world body hinged its projection on health services that are disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to UNAIDS and WHO, estimated the number of additional deaths in the region is based on the assumption that supplies of antiretroviral HIV medicine are interrupted for six months.

Records show that in 2018, an estimated 470,000 people died of the immune deficiency syndrome in countries south of the Sahara – 61 per cent of global AIDS deaths that year. While some countries have taken steps to provide HIV medication despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, problems are mounting in other countries, according to UNAIDS.

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