The new corona virus is a danger to Africa. Like many other diseases.
Fragile health systems in many countries in (southern) Africa are facing extra challenges to prepare for the new corona virus. But, even if the spread of the virus can be stopped before reaching Sub Saharan Africa, many dangerous diseases remain prevalent. Strengthening health systems therefore continues to be a priority.
The new cornoavirus COVID-19 has already spread to five continents and 25 countries since its first appearance in China in November 2019. At the end of January 2020, the World Health Organization therefore declared a worldwide health emergency. One of the main reasons for this is the risk of the virus spreading to countries with weak health systems. It was indeed only a matter of time before the first cases appear in Africa. Although many sub-Saharan countries have already taken measures to detect infection (e.g. screening at airports, upgrading laboratories, preparing quarantine stations), health systems in these countries are insufficiently prepared for a new epidemic.
Malaria, HIV and tuberculosis remain more dangerous
SolidarMed strengthens the health systems of the partner countries through a combination of various measures such as training and further training of health personnel, facilitating access to health services, quality improvements in the area of diagnostics and treatment. In doing so, SolidarMed works closely with the health ministries and the population.
These are important measures, as there is a serious shortage of well-trained health personnel and insufficient capacities for diagnosis and therapy in the countries in which SolidarMed is active. There is also a burden of disease, primarily due to infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, a high mortality rate of mothers and newborn babies and an increasing incidence of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. The number of deaths due to these diseases is many times higher than those due to infection with NCoV.
Prepare hospitals for epidemics of any kind
The key advantage of SolidarMed's approach is that health systems as a whole become more resilient to emerging infectious diseases and other challenges such as natural disasters. Without using scarce resources for a single, newly emerging disease that is widely discussed in the media, which appears to be particularly dangerous for elderly people with pre-existing conditions. This could have a devastating effect on the fight against the other predominant diseases.
SolidarMed therefore contributes to ensuring that the health systems in the partner countries are well prepared for these and future new challenges.