Is Covid-19 the biggest health threat in Africa?August 4, 2021 4126 views 60 comments 2 minutes reading time
Since the beginning of 2020, the spread of Covid-19 has changed life as the world knows it. Lockdowns, wearing masks, PCR tests, and getting sanitised have become the norm to many Africans. According to the World Health Organisation, as of June 2021, the number of Covid cases across the continent has amounted to almost 5 million.
Undoubtedly Covid-19 has made a big impact, however, as of March 2021, it was only the 41st leading cause of death in Africa. The continent has continued to battle with potentially fatal diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera. In South Africa, one of the countries that have been worst affected by the virus, Covid-19 was not amongst its top ten causes of death. In addition, the number of confirmed Covid cases in Africa represented only 2.97% of infections globally.
Could the spread of the highly infectious Covid-19 Delta variant change this? The continent has recently seen its worst rise in infections since the pandemic began. The Delta variant spreads 225% faster than the original virus and has surfaced in 22 countries. This begs the question, is Covid-19 the biggest health threat in Africa?
What do our readers think? One of our readers, Connor, said, “It’s definitely one of the biggest at the moment because there are many people that probably won’t be able to get their vaccines and just be safe, as there are many places in Africa where people live together in large groups.”
We spoke to the Minister of Health of Namibia, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, to hear his perspective
We also put the question to Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Is Covid-19 the biggest health threat in Africa? Do you think the continent will maintain its low rate of Covid-19 mortality? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!