Recently, our chair, Mo Ibrahim was interviewed by BBC News Hour to discuss Africa’s preparedness to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
In this interview, Mo highlighted some key challenges Africa faces in preventing the spread of the coronavirus such as the continent’s fragile healthcare systems. The Foundation’s recently published paper – COVID-19 in Africa: A call for coordinated governance, improved health structures and better data – shows that there are only 10 countries in Africa with universal access to healthcare and 22 countries do not have free nor universal access to healthcare.
Mo also pointed out that African countries learned valuable lessons from the Ebola crisis; the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) were established on the continent after this pandemic. With regards to the coronavirus outbreak, at least 43 African laboratories in 43 African countries have already been trained to diagnose the virus. However, many African countries still lack the capacity to test their citizens during this critical time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hugely impact Africa, Mo explained:
We need to make as much of this extra time available to us.