Africa currently records 23,517 total confirmed cases, 16,241 active confirmed cases, 6,116 recoveries and 1,160 confirmed deaths from Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus pandemic shook the world from its foundations, with many historical scholars saying the only time the world experienced such a crisis, was during the Second World War.
International health organizations and stakeholders have continued to express shock at the low number of Covid-19 cases in the continent compared to other parts of the globe. They claim that the poor sanitization and health facilities, coupled with the problem of potable water in the continent should trigger the spread of the pandemic under normal circumstances.
Stakeholders believe Africa would have experienced a mass holocaust had the cases in the continent been anything near what was experienced in Europe, Asia or America. Some observers believe that Africa’s experience with Ebola about a year ago played an important role in preparing the continent for the Coronavirus pandemic.
As the world search for a cure to the Coronavirus amidst lockdown, here are some lessons Africa must learn from the experience.
Africa Must Improve its Health Infrastructure:
It was appalling that at the time the pandemic was first announced, African nations did not have enough facilities to carry out tests. The special disease wings of National Health Centers complained of inadequate manpower and equipment to effectively combat the pandemic.
A country like Nigeria which is considered to have one of the best economies in Africa could only boast of one health facility located in Lagos State in the entire Western region capable of carrying out tests. It took the intervention of the WHO and other donors to establish emergency testing centres across the country. Infrastructure must be improved to cater to such emergencies in the future.
African Nations Must Have a Citizen’s Database:
Many African nations do not have a database of its citizens. Although many countries in the continent have introduced the biometric banking identity to curb financial fraud, the pandemic exposed the flaws in the system as the government could not meet up with its financial relief promises.
Individuals have lashed out at authorities for claiming that they had issues providing financial assistance to its citizens amidst the lock own. The critics believe that having a database would have made it easy to classify citizens by region.
African Nations Must Improve Security:
Many observers argue that one reason why African nations have low cases of Coronavirus is as a result of the early lockdown restrictions posed in many cities.
In the wake of the lockdown, one of the greatest problems citizens are facing is security. There has been a large number of thefts, breaking and entry and armed attacks in many parts of the continent.
There have been reports of law enforcement agents abusing their power by shooting assaulting people who defied the stay-at-home order. Authorities must engage in the sensitization of the security agencies to understand their role, which is to protect the lives and properties of citizens – not destroy it.
There is so need to employ more officers to adequately meet the security needs of the growing population.
African Nations Should Develop an Emergency Response Strategy:
The continent seems to always be on the back foot when it comes to response. Critics have lashed out at authorities over inadequate healthcare and security facilities in different cities across the continent.
In the wake of a crisis, authorities create make-shift emergency centres which are often torn down after the pandemic is defeated. Thus, if another crisis arises, the continent starts from square one again.
There is a need to invest in sustainable healthcare and security facilities in as many cities and towns as possible.
What are your thoughts?