New Voices COVID-19 Coverage

Updated 3/29

Coronavirus is officially a global pandemic. As the virus continues to spread, several of our 2020 Fellows and Senior Fellows have given media interviews or penned pieces on different aspects of the outbreak, particularly in the African context.

March 3, 2020 | Dr. Akebe Luther King Abia during an interview on eNCA following the publication of his first COVID-19 Op-Ed.

To date, 22 New Voices Fellows have given over 20+ interviews and written 23 Op-Eds related to COVID-19. Coverage includes:

  • Cameroonian environmental microbiologist Dr. Akebe Luther King Abia wrote two Op-Eds for The Conversation: one detailing the environment’s role in the COVID-19 outbreak and the second cautioning the need for more preparedness across the African continent. The idea for this OpEd originated during the New Voices February training. Following the publication of his OpEd, Dr. Abia gave an interview for eNCA.
  • Nigerian Dr. Adaora Okoli, an 2014 Ebola survivor and current internal medicine resident at Tulane University, wrote her first OpEd for Project Syndicate providing guidance on how to best prepare Africa for the COVID pandemic. Her article was republished in local newspapers across Africa, including Malawi. In late March, her second OpEd about the need to better protect healthcare workers was published in The Boston Globe.
  • Nigerian Dr. Ngozi Erondu, who a biosecurity expert, global health program at Chatham house, has given interviews for APBBCThe Real Story podcast, BBC, New York TimesAl Jazeera (2), Medical BriefInternational Business TimesUK’s Channel 4, Healthwise Punch NG, Indian Express, African Business, among others.
  • Nigerian Dr. Ifeanyi Nosofor, a medical doctor, the CEO of EpiAFRIC, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch, did interviews for VanguardAl Jazeera (2), Forbes and local Nigerian TV stations, including Human Rights Radio TV show on current affairs and TVCNews, and he wrote about it for outlets like The HillSciDevNet and Inter Press Service, where he published three pieces. In mid-March, he was named one of the top 100 social media influencers on COVID-19 by Onalytica.
  • Kenyan Dr. Mwangi Thumbi, a veterinarian and Kenyan-based assistant professor at Washington State University who focuses on animal to human disease transmission like Rabies, gave interviews for BBCBBC FactFinder, and Kenyan CitizenTV.
  • Ugandan Dr. Serufusa Sekidde, a medical doctor who lived in China during the SARS epidemic and is now based in the UK as the Director of Policy & Partnerships for GSK, did an interview for the Guardian and BusinessLive and wrote an article for All Africa.
  • Indian Dr. Junaid Nabi, a medical doctor now based at Harvard University who focuses on bioethics, wrote for Project Syndicate, and did an interview for BusinessLive.
  • South African Dr. Denis Chopera, SANTHE Programme Executive Manager, wrote for Project Syndicate about if Africa can withstand COVID-19 and did an interview for Voice of the Cape, BusinessLive and The Citizen.
  • Nigerian Dr. Ola Brown, a medical doctor and founder of Flying Doctors, did an interview for The Global Oil & Gas News Source.
  • Kenyan entomologist Dr. Esther Ngumbi who is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, wrote three pieces about the university setting and COVID-19 for USA Today, WIRED and Inter Press Service.
  • Liberian Brenda Moore, executive director of the Kids Educational Engagement Project, wrote for The Bush Chicken about school closures in her country during the Ebola crisis and how to manage schools now. It led to invitations to speak in high-level meetings and contributed to the country closing schools when the first case of COVID19 was diagnosed in mid-March. Read a Twitter Q&A with her about her op-ed and suggestions, from March 19, 2020.
  • South African Koketso Moeti, the CEO of is an independent, community advocacy organisation, spoke at Civil Tech Innovation’s virtual forum, in a webinar panel on 20 March, 9-10 a.m., about the “potential implications of health pandemics like COVID-19 on communities like CTIN’s.” She wrote four City Press about internet connectivity and a pandemic.
  • Kenyan Dr. Bernard Olayo, a public health specialist and the founder of the Center for Public Health and Development, gave an interview for the AP about the spread of coronavirus in Africa and Latin America.
  • Kenyan Kennedy Odede, one of Africa’s best- known community organizers founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), did an interview on KTN where he was named the hero of this week in mid-March. His organization’s efforts to address coronavirus was featured by Reuters.
  • South African lawyer, Safura Abdool Karim, a lawyer focused on public health issues, wrote an Op-Ed in The Hill urging the United States to consider price controls for COVID-19 vaccine development.
  • Nigerian physician Dr. Adaeze Oreh, a senior medical officer with Nigerian Health Ministry, wrote an op-ed for Premium Times about the impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria with insufficient medical staff.
  • Nigerian Ndidi Nwuneli, managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition and the Co-Founder of AACE Foods, wrote an op-ed for Business Day / The Cable about food insecurity and COVID-19.
  • Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a doctor, author and sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate in South Africa, did an interview for Glamour about sex and COVID-19.
  • Mmaki Jantjies, a professor at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, wrote an OpEd for The Conversation highlighting educational resources for students with limited internet access.
  • South African writer Sisonke Msimang and gender advocate wrote for Africa is a Country about her views as an African in Australia.
  • Kenyan Dr. Jemimah Njuki, an expert on gender, agriculture and food security, wrote for All Africa about how to keep people fed during lockdowns.
  • Indian Sathya Raghu V. Mokkapati, Co-founder and President of Kheyti and CosmosGreen, startups working to help small and marginal farmers rise out of poverty, wrote a letter to his daughter in a post-COVID-19 world for YourStory.

They are available for interview.

Many of our fellows are also involved with addressing COVID-19 in other ways. Examples include:

Dr. Ngozi Erondu advised the UK’s Parliament in January on the virus. and she was in Singapore in early March for a Pandemic Preparedness meeting. 

Agnes Igoye is part of the COVID 19 task-force at the Ministry of Internal Affairs-Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control in Uganda.

Dr. Adaeze Oreh is serving on Nigeria’s national taskforce to address COVID-19.

Mohamed Aburawi is working with the Libyan health ministry and CDC to roll out a COVID19 Triage Platform- funded by Social Innovation and Change Initiative at HKS – rolling out late March and early April.

Narayan Adhikari’’s Accountability Lab launched a new campaign: “Coronavirus CivActs Campaign (CCC) to address questions from communities across Nepal and eliminate information gaps between the government, media, NGOs and citizens.”

Shikoh Gitau is working on a “couple of tech solutions for COVID19 Kenya leg, an incidence reporting tool, and a contact mapping tool… We are designing and building based on information from other places in the world. Our key goal is to map out risks based on vulnerability like age and underlying health issues to help the government make decisions on how to deploy resources.”

Koketso Moeti spoke at Civil Tech Innovation’s virtual forum, in a webinar panel on 20 March, 9-10 a.m., about the “potential implications of health pandemics like COVID-19 on communities like CTIN’s.”