BY Etta Madete —
Africa bears more than 24 percent of the global burden of disease, but has access to only 3 percent of its health workers and less than 1 percent of the world’s financial resources, according to the United Nations. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports [PDF] Africa has one doctor for every 5,000 people while a recent study in the journal Lancet found almost a third of the total population in sub-Saharan Africa lives more than two hours from their nearest hospital.
On March 30, the day this article was published, Africa CDC sent a tweet reporting 4,871 cases in 46 African countries and 152 deaths. The reality is that the coronavirus pandemic has encountered a continent with a patchwork of health systems that may be not only understaffed but also ill equipped to contain an outbreak of this magnitude.