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COVID-19 & Africa’s Health Sector – A Conversation with Dr John Nkengasong

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June 29, 2020
11am – 12 noon EDT (6PM East African Time)

1. Background

Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Egypt in February 2020, the pandemic has spread to every nation on the African continent. As of May 12th, 2020, Africa had 66,373 confirmed infections, over 2,344 deaths, and 23,095 recoveries, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The rapid spread of COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm the health systems around the world, especially in Africa. If the novel Coronavirus is allowed to spread unmanaged, the impact on African citizens, communities, and economies will be devastating. Africa might be the region hardest hit by this disease. Africa’s already fragile healthcare systems, coupled with a growing number of respiratory and diabetic diseases and densely packed urban agglomerations, are likely to increase the vulnerability and the lethality of the virus. According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa should “wake up” to the COVID-19 threat and prepare for a worstcase scenario. There are no proven medications or vaccines Against COVID-19, despite some claims of miracle treatments.

To slow the spread of the pandemic, many African countries halted international inbound travel, mandated physical distancing and use of face masks in public, mounted WASH campaigns, and in some cases, implemented partial or total lockdown measures. In spite of these actions, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise significantly in some countries, including Cameroon and Central African Republic.

With the virus now present in all African countries, will health systems in the region, many of which are severely lacking healthcare professionals, necessary infrastructure, and equipment cope with this pandemic? It is against this framework that the Nkafu Policy Institute, a think tank at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation intends to evaluate Africa’s health sector’s ability to respond to this pandemic in this wide-ranging conversation with Dr. John Nkengasong.

2. Objectives:

The main objective of this conversation is to evaluate Africa’s health care system’s response strategy to the pandemic.
This event will
Evaluate how COVID-19 patients are treated in African hospitals
Evaluate the material and human resources available to fight the pandemic and the current continental-wide strategies
Analyse the challenges faced by the African Health sector and possible solutions necessary to better respond to this pandemic and prepare for the future.

3. Expected Results:

At the end of the conversation, we expect that participants will have a better understanding of:
How COVID-19 patients are treated in African hospitals
Material and human resources available to fight the pandemic
The challenges faced by African health sectors and possible solutions necessary to respond to this pandemic.

4. Date and Venue:

June 29, 2020
11am – 12 noon EDT (6PM East African Time)
Event will be held on ZOOM and streamed live

5. Panelists/Speakers

Main Guest

Dr John Nkengasong

Director – Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Addis Ababa – Ethiopia


Dr Denis Foretia

Dr Denis Foretia

Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation

6. Participants

The event will bring together public policy experts, policy makers at the national, continental and international levels, leaders of civil society organizations, economists, leaders of NGOs and international organizations. It will be open to the general public with a session for Q&A.


The event is finished.


Jun 29 2020


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Zoom Online
Nkafu Policy Institute


Nkafu Policy Institute
+237 654 86 72 54
[email protected]

Catalyzing Africa’s Economic Transformation

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