The war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia will take a toll on the fight against COVID-19 in Africa, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
“Definitely the continent will be affected across the board, no doubt about that,” said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC on Thursday.
According to him, not only will the logistics of vaccine transportation and transportation costs be affected but also the awareness for the pandemic in general.
“The war has taken a lot of attention away from COVID, which is unfortunate,” Nkengasong said.
Africa has received just fewer than 700 million vaccine doses so far, but the continent’s vaccine rate remains very low at barely 13 per cent.
Even so, the number of COVID infections in Africa is decreasing significantly.
Across the continent, 249,000 cases and 640 deaths were recorded last week.
“We see an overall positive outlook, we have actually now controlled that wave.
“The question for us now: what do we do to maintain it?
“There will be a next wave.”
Overall, the CDC has documented 11.2 million infections and 249,000 deaths in Africa over the course of the pandemic.
However, experts believe that the real numbers are far higher.