While the race to find safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines continues, African countries are signing up to a ground-breaking initiative, which aims to secure at least 220 million doses of the vaccine for the continent, once licensed and approved.
Physician and public health consultant, Dr. Maryse Simonet said “not many African countries are without impact, but the full extent is not yet known. Most of the cases and the responses have remained in capital cities, yet rapid tests are now coming to rural settings.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently noted that “researchers are working at break-neck speed” to understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They are also working to develop potential vaccines, medicines and other technologies that are affordable and equitable. By June 2020 – six months since it was first identified – thousands of therapeutic trials and dozens of vaccine development studies were under way, including one vaccine study each in South Africa and Nigeria.
The government of Rwanda has been a foremost champion of women in ICT and in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as STEM), by driving initiatives like the establishment of the Carnegie Mellon University-Africa campus, for which the Bank provided funding. Students from 17 different countries pursue highly specialized ICT skills at the Africa campus.
Africa faces a range of public health challenges, from infectious diseases such as cholera, malaria, Ebola, HIV, and more recently, coronavirus, to a growing burden of chronic diseases. Other problems in Africa, including poverty, armed conflicts, and government mismanagement, complicate efforts to address health issues.
The financing, which includes more than $53 billion for Africa, will help countries invest in the needs of their people, boost economic growth, and bolster resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters.
An innovative graphene-based film helps shield people from disease-carrying mosquitos, according to a new study funded by the National