Medical workers prepare to take oropharyngeal swabs from residents during a mass testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a park in Quezon City, suburban Manila on April 15, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

The coronavirus pandemic in Africa has had particularly devastating effects for the continent’s women, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It’s been a huge burden for women, not only a physical, but also a psychological one,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“Many women working in the informal sector had lost income as a result of the pandemic and had spent more time caring for children due to closed schools.’’

The WHO also noted an increase in domestic violence.

It said though coronavirus infection rates in Africa were now finally on the decline, the long-term effects of the pandemic were likely to make themselves felt for years.

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Women should therefore be supported through microcredit and other means to help them restart economically, according to the WHO.

It added that the health systems of African countries, which had been thrown into turmoil by the pandemic, also needed to be further strengthened.

Africa had by now, managed to procure 700 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, but so far, only 13 per cent of the continent’s population is inoculated.

The pan-African health organisation Africa CDC had recorded a total of 11.2 million infections, and almost 250,000 Covid-related deaths.

However, experts believed the actual numbers were much higher.

DPA

Vanguard News Nigeria

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