UN's regional health chief optimistic about Africa's future

3 months ago 398

The UN's regional health chief for Africa said that if current trends continue, she sees "light at the end of the tunnel" for the Continent.

Speaking at a virtual news conference from Brazzaville, the WHO regional head added that the challenge remains getting people vaccinated.

"As we stand here today, we're finally able to state that if the current trends hold, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As long as we remain vigilant and we act intensively, particularly on vaccination, the continent (Africa) is on track for controlling the pandemic" said Dr Matshidiso Moeti adding that "it has been an extremely difficult two years, but against all odds, Africa is weathering this terrible storm. The continent's long history and experience with large outbreaks, along with an accumulation of learning and expertise since the onset of COVID-19, has seen the response become more effective with each new wave".

According to the World Health Organisation's expert, Africa is now transitioning into an endemic phase which requires a long term approach.

" Of course, we have to expect that there may be variants and understand what could be the characteristics of those variants as far as transmission is concerned and as far as the lethality of causing death is concerned. I believe that we are transitioning from the pandemic phase and we will now need to manage the presence of this virus in the long term", added Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

According to UN figures, Africa has seen 11 million reported cases of Covid-19 over the last two years with just over a quarter of a million deaths, the equivalent to around three percent of global cases and just over four percent of global deaths.

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