COVID-19 in Africa: rethinking the tools to manage future pandemics
Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains an incurable, progressive pneumonia-like illness characterized by fever, dry cough, fatigue, and headache during its early stages. COVID-19 has ultimately resulted in mortality in at least 2 million people worldwide. Millions of people globally have already been affected by this disease, and the numbers are expected to increase, perhaps until an effective cure or vaccine is identified.
Although Africa was initially purported by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be severely hit by the pandemic, Africa recorded the least number of cases during the first wave, with lowest rates of infections, compared to Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This statistic might be attributed to the low testing capacity, existing public health awareness and lessons learnt during Ebola epidemic. Nonetheless, the relatively low rate of infection should be an opportunity for Africa to be better prepared to overcome this and future epidemics.
In this paper, the authors provide insights into the dynamics and transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) during the first wave of the pandemic; possible explanations into the relatively low rates of infection recorded in Africa; with recommendations for Africa to continue to fight Covid-19; and position itself to effectively manage future pandemics.
Keywords: Covid-19; Ebola; Science Leadership in Africa; Vaccine; SARS-COV-2; Preventative Health; Future Pandemics.
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