Child malaria spikes in Sierra Leone as parents fear coronavirus

Doctors in a rural Sierra Leone hospital may be accustomed to treating severely ill infants, but they recently admitted one of the worst cases they had ever seen.

An 18-month-old with pallid skin and thinning hair arrived on the wards in the eastern town of Hangha in July suffering from an alarming combination of pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.

The girl recovered, but doctors are warning that extreme cases such as hers are growing more common as patients avoid hospitals for fear of contracting COVID-19.

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