Covid 19: Lessons for Nigeria from Ghana and South Africa

Covid 19: Lessons for Nigeria from Ghana and South Africa

Sunday, April 26, 2020 9:58 pm

Steve Aborisade


Experts have concluded that Africa will require ingenuity to tackle the coronavirus crisis. And true to that assertion, some of our brothers are actually leading that process.

When Ghana announced it will ease her lockdown, they actually had a scientific evidence backing that decision. This was what happened – Scientists at the University of Ghana successfully sequenced genomes of the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, from the genetic composition of viral strains of the first fifteen (15) confirmed cases in Ghana.

This genomic characterisation was the tool they have which is able to strengthen surveillance for tracking mutations of the virus and for tracing the sources of community infections in people with no known contact with confirmed cases. This is no mean feat and comes from years of support and enabling environment that the scientific community in Ghana had operated over time.

This is an eye opener for Nigeria and reason why Nigeria cannot just say because Ghana eased lockdown she will do the same. But then it is also proper like several commentators have requested that Nigeria should be more open with its template of intervention and especially what the lockdown was put to achieve. We must appreciate the peculiar challenges at hand and cooperate with our authorities to come up with their own home grown solution. In a short while, we will see how successful the Ghana experiment becomes.

Aside this landmark achievement, Ghana was also able to deploy drones to deliver testing samples for quick results which is a major achievement in turn around time. This strategy is actually easy to replicate if the operational structure is put in place. I don’t see why Nigeria should not adopt this because of minimal funds it requires to set up.

South Africa

In Nigeria, well over 1 million people are on treatment for HIV, with thousands also managing TB. Accessing treatment can be a challenge with the lockdowns in major cities. And indeed for a lot of people it has been challenging. In South Africa however, pharmacy dispensing units, using the ATM machines have come in to bridge the gap.

South Africa is thus the first country in the world to introduce this innovation. Supported by a non profit, Right to Care, which helps the national health department to install and maintain the machines and funded by the German and United States governments. I guess it’s time to also replicate this innovation in Nigeria.

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One Comment

  • Charles igbo says:

    We have educated illiterates at the helm of affairs in this country Nigeria. I bet you most of them can’t spell “lockdown ” the country is doomed.

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