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How The Pandemic Affects Africa

Lacking the most basic public health tools to protect themselves, including the necessities of soap and water, millions of people across the African continent are at risk of contracting COVID-19. These measures — known as non-pharmaceutical public health interventions (NPIs), which involve keeping physical distance or isolation at home to prevent transmission — are one of the simplest and least costly ways to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, a large number of the approximately 1.4 billion people in Africa cannot use these tools. Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology and professor of medicine at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the department said: “There are hundreds of millions of people in Africa who simply lack the means to implement NPI to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. .”  “These people urgently need to prioritize vaccination.”

The results of the study-published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Epidemiology and Infection under the title “Housing, sanitation and living conditions affecting SARS-CoV-2 prevention interventions in 54 African countries”-come from an international team led by Brewer and colleagues at the University of Bristol, including researchers from China, Ethiopia, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States So far, COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused approximately 7.3 million cases and 185,505 deaths across the African continent. Globally, more than 200 countries have reported nearly 210 million cases and 4.4 million deaths, although the total death rate due to COVID-19 may be as high as 7 million. The global COVID-19 fatality rate is close to the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic. “SARS-CoV-2 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking,” Brewer said.

“Before effective vaccines are generally available, non-profit organizations are the government’s main means to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in its population.” In addition to isolating infected persons and conducting contact tracing and isolation of contacts, the World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and washing hands in public places as important NPIs that countries should adopt to prevent and control COVID-19. . Laboratory and observational studies have shown that maintaining physical distance and wearing a mask can reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by at least 80%. “These findings illustrate that many African families face huge obstacles in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, because living conditions hinder their ability to isolate, isolate, or maintain physical distance,” Dr. Jody Heyman, Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Say. Public health, public policy, and medicine.

Dr. Jodi said: “These findings show that many African families face huge obstacles in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection because of living conditions that prevent them from being isolated, isolated, or maintaining physical distance, and there are major barriers to hand washing.” Heymann, California Distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine at the University of Los Angeles, and director of the World Policy Analysis Center (WORLD) of Fielding College. “Critically, these findings increase the urgency of quickly obtaining vaccines for all countries in Africa that are far behind, and the urgency of addressing the potential poverty situation that exposes the population to respiratory virus outbreaks and increased risks of epidemics.” In 54 countries/regions, approximately 718 million people live in households with more than 6 people. Approximately 283 million people live in households with more than three people sleeping in one room.


with information from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210820111047.htm

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