World Health Organization (WHO)

Covid-19: Africa's full access to a vaccine

The WHO is pushing to find ways for everyone to be protected when a vaccine is found
The challenge with any new vaccine is whether everyone will have rapid, fair and equitable access to it.

Health rights activist fear that African countries may be at the bottom of the list for getting Covid-19 vaccines.  Dr Matshidiso Moeti is the World Health Organisations's Regional Director for Africa.

(Picture: Laboratory bottles. Credit: Reuters)

'10% of world's infected health workers are in Africa'

An airport worker wearing protective gears screens people
PPE, infection prevention, and training are lacking according to WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 10,000 healthcare workers have tested positive for coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa since the beginning of the pandemic, blaming a shortage of PPE among other factors.

They make up about 10% of global infections among health workers. Among the countries with the worst rates of infection are South Africa, Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia and Kenya.

Front-line workers are bearing the brunt both psychologically and physically.

The majority of those infected are nurses, whose jobs required that they spend longer hours taking care of patients in the wards.

As well as a shortage of PPE, the WHO points to poor infection prevention measures in hospitals and deploying staff to front-line duties without adequate training.

More than 700,000 coronavirus cases and more than 15,000 deaths have been reported in Africa.