Fondazione Gianni Benzi is actively committed in several activities involving African partners. Therefore, we would like to report an update on the current COVID-19 pandemic in Africa that already has to face other crucial health emergencies.
The virus SARS-COV-2 has quickly spread within weeks across the whole continent. To date more than 14000 cases have been reported, most of them in South Africa, Algeria with more than 2000 cases as well as Cameroon and Ghana with more than 1000 confirmed cases.
Governments and health authorities across the continent are striving to limit widespread infections.
Furthermore, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) is working closely with its 47 Member States, as well as partners, in order to implement several emergency preparedness and response interventions.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, underlined: “Eleven out of 17 countries with more than 100 cases of COVID-19 are in West and Central Africa. We are working with the governments to better understand what is happening on the ground, but this is worrisome as countries in these subregions often have particularly fragile health systems.” Crucial medical equipment needed to respond to COVID-19 is lacking in many countries. WHO has been cooperating with the World Food Programme (WFP), the African Union (AU), national governments and the Jack Ma foundation to guarantee vital supplies to the front line health workers. Several countries have received medical equipment such as face shields, gloves, goggles, gowns, masks, medical aprons and thermometers, as well as more than 400 ventilators. Kenya is one of the countries which received these critical supplies; “It is coming at the right time because we would like to get the health workers up and running and continue with the good work that they are doing in the management of the quarantine sites and isolation facilities that have been set up across the country,” said Dr Simon Kibias, Director of Standards at the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
In addition, WHO AFRICA provided the healthcare workers with several training sessions on cases management and infectious prevention actions as well as training material on laboratory activities are being prepared for technical support.
Moreover, a team from China is currently supporting the response in Nigeria, while a British team is working in Zambia, and another one will soon be deployed in Burkina Faso.
WHO continues to provide national authorities and religious leaders with guidance on the management of false myths to be dispelled and misinformation. WHO and partners keep on disseminating through mass media, messages, videos and slogans on preventive key behaviours and actions. Watch the video by WHO to discover some useful tips to be adopted and visit the WHO AFRO website where you can find some more interesting material to be updated on the emergency in Africa.
Spread the word and stay safe!