Speak Up Africa, the Dakar, Senegal-based nonprofit working to catalyze dialogues, drive policy changes and create awareness on health and sanitation issues in Africa, has launched a continent-wide campaign against COVID-19 tagged: “Stay Safe Africa,” focused on empowering communities to take action against the deadly novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic – the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 – emerged in Africa in February, cases are continuing to rising in Africa which was spared of the virus in its early days. Consequently, there are more than 23,000 confirmed cases and in excess of 1000 deaths recorded in Africa with over 6000 recoveries, according to the latest data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC) on COVID-19 in Africa.
A few risk factors including high population densities, communal living, frequent and close contact between generations, fragile health systems, as well as the constrained access to water and washing facilities mean the virus could spread rapidly across the African continent; and increase the likelihood of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.
Hence, it is essential that coronavirus transmission in Africa is confined as fast as possible to forestall a flood in cases and deaths, which would devastatingly affect Africa’s already strained healthcare systems, according to Speak Up Africa.
“For prevention measures to be effective, the time to act is now. ‘Stay Safe Africa’ seeks to empower communities and individuals to take simple and proven preventative measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, by supporting the AU, the African CDC, the WHO, and national governments’ response plans. Furthermore, the campaign aims to encourage individuals to pool resources to support the AU COVID-19 Response Fund,” says Speak Up Africa.
“As an African development organization specializing in health and sanitation, we felt compelled to act, which is why we launched the ‘Stay Safe Africa’ campaign. This campaign regroups individuals and organizations united to stop the spread of COVID-19 on the continent and ensure that essential services remain accessible to all affected by vaccine preventable and endemic diseases,” adds Speak Up Africa.
The African Union recently launched the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention …