There has been a widespread commendation towards many African countries on their approach in combating COVID-19. These praises came despite the continent’s reputation for having a flawed health-care system.
According to recent figures from the John Hopkins University, the continent with over one billion has only experienced about 1.5 million cases with fewer deaths. These figures are undoubtedly lower compared to those in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Recently, the statistics from Europe are on the rise with discovering a new strain of the virus.
Statistics show that Africa has recorded over 40,000 deaths whereas those in Asia have over 205,000 deaths while Europe and the Americas have 230,000 and 580,000 deaths.
Dr. John Nkengasong, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Africa, indicated that the low testing rates undermine the continent’s response, suggesting that a lot of deaths might be missed.
Given this, why are COVID-19 cases in Africa lower compared to other parts of the world? Here are a few reasons we consider lower cases in Africa.
Quick Response from authorities
Egypt was the first African country to experience COVID-19 in its country. The fear from other countries led to a widespread fear, which ignited most African governments to take drastic measures. Significantly, these measures were related to the fragile health system most of these countries have.
Young Population with a vibrant youth
Globally, those who have been badly affected by the pandemic are above 65 years old. Africa has a younger population with over 80% below 65 years. In North America, Europe, and Asia, we have an older population with most living in specialized homes, which became a place for its transmission.
The population density in rural areas in Africa is lower than those in developed nations, making it easier to observe social distancing. Additionally, an underdeveloped transport system appears to be a blessing in disguise. Unlike those in developed economies, most Africans don’t frequently travel, minimizing contact from infected people.
Another reason that contributed to the number of low COVID-19 cases is the favourable climate terrain. Researchers discovered that latitude, humidity, and temperature contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
The virus spreads faster in areas with low humidity and temperatures, which is totally the opposite of those in Africa’s climate condition.
Good health systems
Although the continent has a fragile health system that is quite different from its community health system; Since the outbreak of Ebola, various communities have put into place various mechanisms to help their people. These mechanisms, including isolating, tracing, and quarantining those infected.
Since a laid down approach has already been established during various health challenges such as Ebola and polio vaccination, many health officials took advantage of this system to educate these inhabitants on the latest pandemic.
In Africa, the public support system plays an integral role in the progress of the community. With strict public measures such as washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing implemented in most countries, it helps decrease cases. Furthermore, the government had to set up penalties for offenders who don’t adhere to relevant safety procedures.
With the recent introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and the doubts about their potency, there are concerns if vaccines should be accepted. Nevertheless, with various efforts in combating this pandemic, we have seen different approaches taken by both local and national bodies in averting this “plague.”
Africa seems to have the lowest cases in terms of death and infection. We hope these figures decrease more over time.