COVID-19 pandemic: ten research questions Africa must answer for itself

  • Evelyn Y. Bonney Virology Department. Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana. Off Akilagpa Sawyerr Road. PO Box LG 581, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
  • Helena Lamptey Immunology Department. Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana. Off Akilagpa Sawyerr Road. PO Box LG 581, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
  • Peter Puplampu Department of Medicine, University of Ghana Medical School. College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana. PO Box GP 4236, Accra, Ghana.
  • George B. Kyei Medical and Scientific Research Directorate, University of Ghana Medical Centre, UG Medical Centre. Post Office Box LG 25, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
Keywords: COVID-19, research, development, Africa

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading through Africa and governments are making frantic efforts to control spread, hospitalizations and deaths. While control measures are being taken, research into the biomedical and socio-cultural aspects of the pandemic, relevant to the African population, should not be ignored. It should not be assumed that research performed in Asian, American and European populations will always be applicable to Africa. Rather, research should be done in Africa to answer questions peculiar to the epidemic on the continent and help inform international guidelines. National guidelines for treatment and prevention, patient recoveries and discharge, and public health control measures should be based on research performed in the appropriate context for them to be effective and robust. Urgent research is needed in viral immunology and shedding, treatment and prevention trials, protection of healthcare personnel, and antimicrobial use among others. In this article, we propose ten research questions that when answered in a timely manner by scientists in Africa, will enhance Africa’s response to the pandemic.

Published
2020-12-31

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print ISSN: 0016-9560