Response to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic Across Africa: Successes, Challenges, and Implications for the Future.

Ogunleye OO, Basu D, Mueller D, Sneddon J, Seaton RA, Yinka-Ogunleye AF, Wamboga J, Miljković N, Mwita JC, Rwegerera GM, Massele A, Patrick O, Niba LL, Nsaikila M, Rashed WM, Hussein MA, Hegazy R, Amu AA, Boahen-Boaten BB, Matsebula Z, Gwebu P, Chirigo B, Mkhabela N, Dlamini T, Sithole S, Malaza S, Dlamini S, Afriyie D, Asare GA, Amponsah SK, Sefah I, Oluka M, Guantai AN, Opanga SA, Sarele TV, Mafisa RK, Chikowe I, Khuluza F, Kibuule D, Kalemeera F, Mubita M, Fadare J, Sibomana L, Ramokgopa GM, Whyte C, Maimela T, Hugo J, Meyer JC, Schellack N, Rampamba EM, Visser A, Alfadl A, Malik EM, Malande OO, Kalungia AC, Mwila C, Zaranyika T, Chaibva BV, Olaru ID, Masuka N, Wale J, Hwenda L, Kamoga R, Hill R, Barbui C, Bochenek T, Kurdi A, Campbell S, Martin AP, Phuong TNT, Thanh BN, Godman B

Front Pharmacol 11 (-) 1205 [2020-09-11; online 2020-09-11]

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed considerable lives. There are major concerns in Africa due to existing high prevalence rates for both infectious and non-infectious diseases and limited resources in terms of personnel, beds and equipment. Alongside this, concerns that lockdown and other measures will have on prevention and management of other infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are an increasing issue with rising morbidity and mortality rates. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that a lack of nets and treatment could result in up to 18 million additional cases of malaria and up to 30,000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Document current prevalence and mortality rates from COVID-19 alongside economic and other measures to reduce its spread and impact across Africa. In addition, suggested ways forward among all key stakeholder groups. Contextualise the findings from a wide range of publications including internet-based publications coupled with input from senior-level personnel. Prevalence and mortality rates are currently lower in Africa than among several Western countries and the USA. This could be due to a number of factors including early instigation of lockdown and border closures, the younger age of the population, lack of robust reporting systems and as yet unidentified genetic and other factors. Innovation is accelerating to address concerns with available equipment. There are ongoing steps to address the level of misinformation and its consequences including fines. There are also ongoing initiatives across Africa to start addressing the unintended consequences of COVID-19 activities including lockdown measures and their impact on NCDs including the likely rise in mental health disorders, exacerbated by increasing stigma associated with COVID-19. Strategies include extending prescription lengths, telemedicine and encouraging vaccination. However, these need to be accelerated to prevent increased morbidity and mortality. There are multiple activities across Africa to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and address misinformation, which can have catastrophic consequences, assisted by the WHO and others, which appear to be working in a number of countries. Research is ongoing to clarify the unintended consequences given ongoing concerns to guide future activities. Countries are learning from each other.

Type: Review

PubMed 33071775

DOI 10.3389/fphar.2020.01205

Crossref 10.3389/fphar.2020.01205

pmc: PMC7533592


Publications 7.1.2