Category: Africa in Fact

A stronger and more united Africa?

Strong medicine: the COVID-19 effect Despite immense challenges, the coronavirus pandemic could offer a unique opportunity for transformative change across the continent Despite the devastating worldwide effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some politicians and scholars have advanced the idea that this crisis could be a transformative event in the long run. Others have refuted that […]

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A poor prognosis, with some cause for hope

Abuja Declaration: broken promises African nations have largely defaulted on a 2001 pledge to commit at least 15% of their annual budgets to healthcare Africa has so far seen controversial and even dramatic policy measures in response to the coronavirus crisis. From Tanzania withholding infection and fatality data as the government pushed conspiracy theories, to […]

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The rules of engagement

COVID-19: an African overview African countries have reacted in different ways to the pandemic, from outright denial to some of the most stringent lockdown rules in the world When retired star footballer Musa Otieno went public on 30 June 2020 after contracting COVID-19, Kenyans sat up and listened. It was a sobering moment for the […]

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Learning the hard way

West Africa: lessons from Ebola Understanding why people resisted disease containment measures during Ebola outbreaks is critical in the handling of COVID-19 in DRC The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 10 March 2020, at a time when its health system was already overstretched with battling its 10th […]

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The hole in Africa’s heart

Africa’s ‘lawless third’: duty of care Swathes of the continent are home to people whose efforts at self-rule or traditional ways of life have challenged state attempts to deal with COVID-19 The lack of access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by millions of Africans as a result of living in ungoverned, under-serviced, rebel-controlled, […]

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A real threat to national security

Endgame: health after lockdown African countries must realise that resilient public healthcare systems are a human security issue and vital for stable government On 11 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its decision to classify COVID-19 as a global pandemic. At the time, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China, where the disease […]

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A rapid epidemiological transition

The rise of non-communicable diseases in Africa adds to COVID-19 stress The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has highlighted Africa’s vulnerability to disease in an unprecedented manner, laying bare years of under investment in public health facilities and systems. As infection rates ratcheted up across the world, African governments scrambled to patch up dilapidated public infrastructure […]

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Tanzania – Zero facts get in the way of the real Covid story

Tanzania: the Covid data void A moratorium on COVID-19 data, followed by government restrictions on information about the virus, has left Tanzanians and scientists in the dark. With more than 20 million cases of COVID-19 and close to 800,000 deaths around the world at the time of writing, life without the novel coronavirus might sound […]

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The pandemic within a pandemic

Malawi: unintended consequences Lengthy school closures to control the spread of the coronavirus have led to a surge in already appalling numbers of teen pregnancies and early marriages It’s a cold Monday morning and a normal working day for people employed in the central business district of Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital, and not only for […]

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