WHO Africa helping continent fight coronavirus pandemic
The World Health Organization’s Africa is helping to respond to the coronavirus pandemic as the continent trails the rest of the world in testing and vaccination efforts.
WHO Africa initiates emergency responses to health crises in 47 of the continent’s 54 countries and recommends policies to strengthen their health care systems.
WHO Africa chief, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has become one of the world’s most compelling voices urging better consideration of Africa’s people.
Africa has shown lower rates of COVID-19 cases compared with the rest of the world, but that’s likely due to lower testing levels.
Countries have struggled to treat the sick, and vaccination rates are low, with just over 13% of Africa’s 1.3 billion people fully vaccinated by the beginning of March.
“The difficulties have really been about learning about this new virus, adapting quickly and helping countries to do the same,” she told the AP.
She noted Africa faces unique challenges — at the start of the pandemic only a handful of the continent’s countries could test for COVID-19, now virtually every nation can.
Africa has been dependent upon imported vaccines which resulted in lengthy delays as rich nations bought the inoculations first.