The fight against COVID-19 in Africa is getting fiercer by the day, as most countries are now experiencing a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases compared to the past weeks. According to the latest data by Africa Centre for Disease Control, Africa currently has over 42,000 confirmed cases scattered across 53 countries in the continent; with Lesotho being the only country yet to confirm any case within its borders.
Projections by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that Africa could be the next epicenter of the current pandemic. However, major developments show that African governments, as well as many private individuals and organizations are making strong efforts to flatten the curve.
Here’s how some African Countries are responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic:
Senegal, in an attempt to increase COVID-19 testing and treatment within the country and beyond, recently commenced the mass production of coronavirus test kits and 3D ventilators. This major project is aimed at providing an easy and reliable means of testing as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for over 2 - 4 million Africans in the coming months. This innovative approach taken by the Senegalese government has been considered to be much more affordable and reliable, as the growing need for massive testing looms further.
The Ivory Coast government has recognized the harm the current lockdown is posing to its nation’s educational system and, for this reason, has recently kicked-off a project called “My School at home”. This project is aimed at providing free educational services to pupils while the lockdown is ongoing. Private individuals and organizations are also playing a huge role in the fight against the pandemic in the country. One notable contribution is the recent donation made by Didier Drogba -- the former Ivorian footballer donated his private hospital for use as a government coronavirus facility.
In order to speed up COVID-19 testing in the rural communities, the Ghanaian ministry of health has resorted to the use of drones to enable the easy transportation of samples to designated testing centers across the country. Recently, the Ghanaian government secured insurance cover amounting to about 350,000 Ghanaian Cedi (about US$61,000) for every health personnel working at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. The government has also approved a daily allowance of 150Cedis (US$26) to be paid to each of the contact tracers in the country.
Through a health network set up by the government as well as several other private organizations, the country has been able to able to scale up COVID-19 testing and treatment. South Africa has conducted over 250,000 tests; the highest compared to any other country in Africa, with reports showing a steady increase in its testing capacity on daily basis. Also, in an attempt to reduce the post-economic impact of this outbreak on the country, its government recently launched a comprehensive intervention initiative to help secure support for critical businesses, subsidize taxes, as well as provide relief funds that will assist small and medium-scale enterprises in distress from the pandemic.
Explore more on: Reachiiing Data Visualization Centre
Author Credit: Ima-Abasi Joseph Pius