COVID-19: WHO worries about shortage of control means in Africa


(Dakar) The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern on Thursday about the woeful lack of resources available to Africa to fight against the coronavirus, including a very limited number of intensive care beds and respiratory systems as the disease spreads across the continent.

France Media Agency

“There is a serious shortage of treatment facilities for critical cases of COVID – 19 in Africa ”, underlines in a press release the WHO, which collected the data of about forty of the 54 African countries.

According to the WHO, “the total number of beds in intensive care units (ICU) available for COVID – 19 in 43 African country is less than 5000 ”, or “about five beds for a million people, against 4000 beds for a million people in Europe”.

In 41 countries which have transmitted their data to WHO, the total number of “functional ventilators in public health is below 2000 “, according to the press release.

Africa has so far been relatively unaffected by the coronavirus, but has nonetheless recorded more 11 500 case and more than 570 death, according to an AFP count .

The number of cases in Africa continues to grow and more and more countries on the continent are seeing the virus spread beyond the capitals. “In 47 countries, almost 60% reported cases in several places, against about 21% two weeks ago, “said the WHO.

“Tackling cases in rural areas that often lack the resources of urban centers will pose a huge challenge to the already strained health systems in Africa,” said the Director of WHO. for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.

“Containment is still possible,” said WHO, stressing that 31 countries recorded less of 100 cases.

Many African countries have also taken preventive measures, in particular by isolating the sick and tracing their contacts.

They have also introduced curfews or imposed confinement in certain cities, as well as bans on traveling between regions or gathering.

“If they continue to set up an early detection system and strong and comprehensive interventions around each case, they can avoid a wider spread of COVID – 19 “, estimates the WHO.