The World Health Organization is active in addressing health threats in West Africa. During a press conference on August 19, Dr. Machidiso Moeti, Regional Director of the United Nations Health Agency, expressed concern about the number of deaths from the COVID-19 virus, which has increased by 193%, from 348 deaths in the previous four weeks to 1018 deaths. As of August 15, Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease are present in some countries in this part of the African continent.
During this press conference, the WHO Africa official noted that COVID-19, Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus are weakening health systems in West Africa. “We are particularly concerned about West Africa and expect the impact of Covid-19 on health services to increase rapidly. In addition to the huge demand for health services due to Covid-19, the impact of Ebola virus disease and other outbreaks must be taken into account,” said Dr. Machidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa: “Combating multiple epidemics simultaneously is a complex challenge.”
According to the World Health Organization, health systems in West Africa are under severe strain due to the high number of infections. “These new outbreaks are a clear reminder that other health emergencies will not go away just because we are busy fighting a global pandemic. We must remain vigilant and respond quickly to prevent other serious diseases from spreading and wreaking further havoc,” she said.
– World Health Organization in Africa (WHOAFRO) August 19, 2021
According to the same source, as of August 15, 244 thousand new cases were discovered in one week on the African continent, a decrease of 11% compared to the previous week and the second week in a row that was characterized by a decrease in the number of cases. However, nine of the 23 countries facing a recovery are in West Africa. Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Nigeria are facing a spike in cases and the three countries are facing additional outbreaks.
While shipments of a Covid-19 vaccine appear to be accelerating, Africa faces new challenges. The intention of some countries to introduce booster doses threatens the promise of a better future for Africa. Dr. Machidiso added to the press that some of the richer countries are flouting the principle of equality in vaccines by seizing doses.