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‘65 per cent of Africa’s population survived COVID-19’

By m Chukwuma Muanya, Opeyemi Babalola (Lagos) and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja)
08 April 2022   |   3:07 am
More than two-thirds of Africans (65 per cent of the continent’s population) survived COVID-19 or rather have been infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2

FCTA moves against diseases, experts sensitise Nigerians on the handling of emergency patients

More than two-thirds of Africans (65 per cent of the continent’s population) survived COVID-19 or rather have been infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus, which causes COVID-19, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) analysis.

The study, published yesterday, found that true infections on the continent were 97 times larger than reported confirmed cases.

The examination, which is available as a pre-print under peer review, synthesised 151 studies published on seroprevalence in Africa between January 2020 and December 2021.

It found that exposure to SARS-CoV-2 skyrocketed from three per cent (1.0-9.2 per cent range) in June 2020 to 65 per cent (56.3-73 per cent range) by September 2021 or 800 million infections compared with 8.2 million cases reported at the time.

The study showed that exposure to the virus rose sharply following the emergence of the Beta and Delta variants.

The analysis revealed that the true number of infections could be as much as 97 times higher than the number of confirmed reported cases. This compares to the global average where a true number of infections is 16 times higher than the reported confirmed cases.

However, seroprevalence varies widely within and across countries in Africa – higher in dense urban areas – and between age groups, with children aged zero to nine years having fewer infections compared with adults. Exposure to the virus also varies between countries and Africa’s sub-regions: Seroprevalence appears to be highest in Eastern, Western and Central African regions.

Also, preliminary results of an ongoing seroprevalence study in Nigeria showed that more than 50 per cent of Nigerians, over 100 million people, survived COVID-19.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, during a virtual press conference, yesterday, said: “This analysis shows that current reported COVID-19 confirmed cases are only a fraction of the actual number of infections on the continent.”

SIMILARLY, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it had mapped out measures to prevent disease outbreaks and improve residents’ well being.

The Mandate Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Abubakar Tafida, during a briefing to mark the World health Day 2022, yesterday, said at the secondary health care level, the hospitals are being repositioned with increased drug revolving fund.

ALSO yesterday, experts in the medical field sensitise Nigerians to best handling of an emergency patient before hospitalisation.

The seminar, which was held in Lagos, was to mark World Health Day.

Speaking at the event, Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Emergency Response Africa (ERA), Folake Owoduni, pointed out that emergency response is an area often ignored, adding that if there were intervention from the government and other institutions in the country, millions of lives would be saved.

On his part, the Clinical Lead and Trainer, ERA, Seun Adewunmi, stressed the importance of pre-hospital care in an emergency situation, noting that the outcomes of some emergency situations would depend on first aid.

In his remarks, Chief Medical Director (CMD), Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Dr. Adedamola Dada,

Said it is high time Nigerians knew emergency response units in hospitals were for critical situations and not sicknesses that could be treated at home.

He encouraged that a deliberate system to announce that a patient would be brought to the emergency room should be reported beforehand.

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