https://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back
Africa|Health|Systems
Africa|Health|Systems
africa|health|systems
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

India's Covid-19 emergency is wake-up call to Africa – AU health chief

Close

Embed Video

India's Covid-19 emergency is wake-up call to Africa – AU health chief

India's Covid-19 emergency is wake-up call to Africa – AU health chief

29th April 2021

By: Reuters

SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

The raging state of the Covid-19 pandemic is India is a wake-up call for Africa that its governments and citizens must not let their guards down, the African Union's (AU's) disease control agency warned on Thursday.

African nations generally do not have sufficient numbers of health care workers, hospital beds, oxygen supplies, and the continent of 1.3-billion would be even more overwhelmed than India if cases surged in a similar way, said John Nkengasgong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advertisement

"We are watching with total disbelief...What is happening in India cannot be ignored by our continent," he told reporters.

Nkengasgong urged Africans to wear masks and avoid large gatherings, warning: "We cannot and should not find ourselves in (India's) scenario because of the very fragile nature of our health systems."

Advertisement

The AU will convene a meeting with all African ministers of health on May 8, Nkengasong said, to "put everybody on alert".

India, with 1.35-billion people, has a similar population size to the African continent, yet Africa has even weaker health systems, and unlike India does not manufacture significant quantities of drugs or vaccines, he added.

Heeding public health guidance is critical in Africa at the moment because the continent's rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is hindered by the crisis in India, Nkengasong said.

The bulk of the vaccines supplied so far to Africa via the global vaccine-sharing facility COVAX have been AstraZeneca shots manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. India suspended its exports of the shot in March to cope with rising domestic demand.

It remains unclear when exports will resume, Nkengasong said on Thursday, warning the situation in India could impact the predictability of Africa's vaccine rollout "for the weeks and perhaps months to come".

Africa could benefit from additional supplies if two Chinese-made vaccines secure approval from the World Health Organisation next week, a WHO Africa official said.

"If we have more vaccines that have been approved for WHO pre-qualification, we know that more of these candidates can enter into our continent without any further issues," Phionah Atuhebwe told an online weekly briefing.

Africa recorded nearly 76 000 new Covid-19 infections from April 19-25, a 8% decline from the previous week, according to Africa CDC data.

India reported more than 379 000 new Covid-19 cases and 3 645 new deaths on Thursday alone. It was the highest number of deaths reported in a single day in the world's second most populous country since the start of the pandemic.

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now