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Semeeh Akinwale Omoleke 1 Article
Beyond SARS-CoV-2: Lessons That African Governments Can Apply in Preparation for Possible Future Epidemics
Mary Aigbiremo Oboh, Semeeh Akinwale Omoleke, Christian Eseigbe Imafidon, Olumide Ajibola, Eniyou Cheryll Oriero, Alfred Amambua-Ngwa
J Prev Med Public Health. 2020;53(5):307-310.   Published online August 18, 2020
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has placed unprecedented pressure on healthcare systems, even in advanced economies. While the number of cases of SARS-CoV-2 in Africa compared to other continents has so far been low, there are concerns about under-reporting, inadequate diagnostic tools, and insufficient treatment facilities. Moreover, proactiveness on the part of African governments has been under scrutiny. For instance, issues have emerged regarding the responsiveness of African countries in closing international borders to limit trans-continental transmission of the virus. Overdependence on imported products and outsourced services could have contributed to African governments’ hesitation to shut down international air and seaports. In this era of emerging and re-emerging pathogens, we recommend that African nations should consider self-sufficiency in the health sector as an urgent priority, as this will not be the last outbreak to occur. In addition to the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement fund (US$600 million) provided by the World Bank for strengthening health systems and disease surveillance, each country should further establish an epidemic emergency fund for epidemic preparedness and response. We also recommend that epidemic surveillance units should create a secure database of previous and ongoing pandemics in terms of aetiology, spread, and treatment, as well as financial management records. Strategic collection and analysis of data should also be a central focus of these units to facilitate studies of disease trends and to estimate the scale of requirements in preparation and response to any future pandemic or epidemic.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health