Wednesday, 20 January, 2021

Africa: COVID-19 ‘Is an African Governance Crisis’

In the wake of Covid-19, a governance crisis is emerging which could impact on the way that Africa is able to respond to the pandemic. So says Dr Ngozi Erondu, Chief Executive for Project Zambezi, a public-private partnership created to improve access to essential medicines throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Liz Clarke spoke to her in London this week about the evolving health challenges facing Africa.

South Africa’s multifaceted response to Covid-19 has been harsh – overly harsh some have suggested – but nevertheless, so far effective. The scale of community testing for the virus is unprecedented and there is a growing belief that the spread of the virus will not overwhelm the country’s health systems in the coming weeks and months.

But there is a caveat to all of this. New data emanating from countries to the north, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria show that testing for the virus is worryingly low, which means that unless there is a co-ordinated approach to restrict movement from border countries when lockdown ends and the free flow of people resumes, the risk of renewed outbreaks coming from neighbouring countries is inevitable.

Even a small number of infected people entering the country, legally…

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