Is Africa prepared for tackling the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic. Lessons from past outbreaks, ongoing pan-African public health efforts, and implications for the future

Kapata, Nathan, Ihekweazu, Chikwe, Ntoumi, Francine , Raji, Tajudeen, Chanda-Kapata, Pascalina, Mwaba, Peter, Mukonka, Victor, Bates, Matthew, Tembo, John, Corman, Victor, Mfinanga, Sayoki, Asogun, Danny, Elton, Linzy, Arruda, Liã Bárbara, Thomason, Margaret J., Mboera, Leonard, Yavlinsky, Alexei, Haider, Najmul, Simons, David, Hollmann, Lara, Lule, Swaib A., Veas, Francisco, Abdel Hamid, Muzamil Mahdi, Dar, Osman, Edwards, Sarah, Vairo, Francesco, McHugh, Timothy D., Drosten, Christian, Kock, Richard, Ippolito, Giuseppe and Zumla, Alimuddin (2020) Is Africa prepared for tackling the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic. Lessons from past outbreaks, ongoing pan-African public health efforts, and implications for the future. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 93 . pp. 233-236. ISSN 1201-9712

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.049

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Is Africa prepared for tackling the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic. Lessons from past outbreaks, ongoing pan-African public health efforts, and implications for the future
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Abstract

Soon after the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV), was first identified in a cluster of patients with pneumonia (Li et al., 2020), in the Chinese city of Wuhan on 31 December 2019, rapid human to human transmission was anticipated (Hui et al., 2020). The fast pace of transmission is wreaking havoc and stirring media hype and public health concern (Ippolito et al., 2020) globally. When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease, (now officially named COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 31st January 2020 (WHO, 2020a), the Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus justified the decision by stating that WHOs greatest concern was the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems. Repeated outbreaks of other preventable emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases with epidemic potential have taken their toll on the health systems of many African countries. The devastating 2014–2016 Ebola Virus Epidemic (WHO, 2020b) in West Africa, demonstrated how ill-prepared the affected countries were to rapidly identify the infection and halt transmission (WHO, 2020d, Largent, 2016, Hoffman and Silverberg, 2018, Omoleke et al., 2016). Similarly, the smoldering remnants of the 2018–19 Ebola Virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have demonstrated even for health services with considerable experience of dealing with a certain emerging pathogen, geography and sociopolitical instability, can hamper the response (Aruna et al., 2019).

Keywords:COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Africa
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:44156
Deposited On:29 Mar 2021 11:59

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