Aid organizations warn of Corona-collateral damage in Africa

in February, when the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus was still almost exclusively limited to China, beat the experts on Alarm: When the Virus first arrived i

Aid organizations warn of Corona-collateral damage in Africa

in February, when the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus was still almost exclusively limited to China, beat the experts on Alarm: When the Virus first arrived in Africa, would break due to poor medical care to an uncontrollable catastrophe on mankind. But so far, the naked Corona give Figures for Africa, not such a disaster scenario – probably because African governments have early and comprehensively respond to the danger.

According to the world health organization (WHO) have been infected in Africa so far, more than 100,000 people confirmed with the novel Coronavirus. Even if the number of unreported cases is likely to be due to a lack of test capacity is higher - it is already clear that the Corona-pandemic on the continent a less fatal than in Europe, for example.

In Africa have been reported thus so far, 3100 deaths in connection with the lung disease COVID-19. For comparison: in Europe, 100,000 in Corona cases were reported, there was already 4900 deaths. According to first analyses, the relatively low death might have something to do rate with the demographic structure of the continent, as more than 60 percent of Africans are younger than 25.

routine vaccination for children to fall off

all The more necessary was it, therefore, to look at the "collateral damage" in the fight against Corona, says Anne Young, a consultant for global health at the aid organization Medico International. She pointed out that in many African countries by the extensive lock-downs are routine vaccinations for children, such as measles, would fail. The direct measures to curb Corona pandemic would cause especially in children to an increase of other infectious diseases, feared Anne Young.

recent studies of the WHO seem to confirm guys fear: 117 million children in 24 countries, mostly in Africa, could not receive, therefore, because of the pandemic, their measles vaccinations. The Gavi vaccine Alliance believes that the suspension of vaccination campaigns in the past 13.5 million people do not receive important vaccinations. This, in turn, could ensure a resurgence of infectious diseases such as measles or Polio.

Corona is slowing the fight against Aids and tuberculosis

Like everywhere in the world, many countries have also restructured in Africa, their health systems, in order to be against COVID-19 prepared. But what sounds reasonable, has the consequence that in many places, numerous routines have been pre-set programs in the health care practical. Problems there were, according to Anne Young already, for example, in the fight against tuberculosis. This disease is similar to contagious as COVID-19 and the course is often fatal: "Due to Corona, the masks that are necessary in dealing with tuberculosis patients," so Young missing everywhere in Africa.

The NGO Stop TB Partnership, warns that there could be by COVID-19-related disorders health care in sub-Saharan Africa between 2020 and 2025 6.3 million additional cases of Tuberculosis, and an additional 1.4 million Dead. In addition, tuberculosis occurs in Africa, often in conjunction with Aids. A study by WHO and UNAIDS estimated that the treatment of Aids is restricted to patients currently. Because in many places the supply of anti retro can no longer be guaranteed viral drugs, could die this year and next year, more than 500,000 additional people in connection with Aids.

doubling of cases of Malaria?

"Corona is or not: Malaria and by far the largest death remains the cause in Africa, mainly children are affected," says Dr. Javier Macias, a Spanish doctor who has been working for over 30 years in various African countries as a medical consultant, and currently in Angola operates In a DW interview Macias warns that this year in Africa, twice as many people as in other years, Malaria could die if the fight against infectious disease caused by the Corona-impeding pandemic.

"Here in Angola, it is now in such a way that Malaria medicines and mosquito nets to reach those Affected hardly. All of this, because the health system is focused mainly on the control of COVID-19," says Macias. He reported a specific case of Huambo, the second largest city in the country: There is a street vendor with acute Malaria symptoms had gone to the hospital, they had been sent back home with the note that it "could only treat the most urgent cases, and cases that have to do with COVID-19".

Prior to a forthcoming increase in deaths due to Malaria by the end of April already warned the WHO: Accordingly, twice as many as 2018 is expected for 2020 in the worst case, with 769.000 Malaria deaths in countries South of the Sahara. For comparison: In the Worst-Case scenario for the Coronavirus, the WHO estimates up to date for 2020 with as many as 83,000 to 190.000 direct deaths by COVID-19 in Africa – and only then if the Virus could spread without counter-measures in an uncontrolled manner.

collateral damage Hunger

But should not the collateral damage of the Coronavirus to count only the consequences of other diseases, stresses, Reimund Reubelt: "The Coronavirus is able to kill by Hunger." The Chairman of the humanitarian organization sign of hope alerts in the DW-Interview: "Vast parts of Africa are already plagued for decades by famine. Currently up to 250 million people are affected. And now a Virus is add to the bad food situation worse."

Many people could afford even less food, because the prices would increase due to the corona crisis. Because of the lock downs work and deserved to lose a day laborer with no money. Curfews made it difficult to supply values. "Not only is the Virus itself, but also the impact of the counter-measures are a tremendous burden for the people. Corona could be used in combination with Hunger, a deadly scourge in Africa," says Reubelt.

Thomas Beckmann of the Diakonie katastrophenhilfe looks similar to: "By the Anti-Corona measures taken by many African countries, it has reinforced the Hunger significantly. Due to output restrictions, the fields can no longer be ordered." Particularly dramatic is the situation in East Africa, where there is currently massive swarms of locusts was: "The food situation was endangered by this plague, anyway, and now the Corona in addition, a crisis," says the spokesman for Diakonie katastrophenhilfe the situation.

author: Antonio Cascais

*The contribution of "relief organisations warn of Corona-collateral damage in Africa" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 26 May 2020, 11:27

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