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NGOs warn of “devastating consequences” of coronavirus in “low-income” African countries

Several organizations operating on the continent say they are concerned about this new health crisis.

Plan international, Save the Children, UNICEF and many other organizations are on the alert to fight the spread of Covid-19 in a region where the health system is broken.

Plan International, Which has already accompanied several African countries during epidemics of cholera, Ebola or dengue fever, underlines the lack of preparation and infrastructure especially for this new virus which sometimes requires special care. The organization indicates as an example that France has 7,000 resuscitation beds, while some countries on the continent have less than a hundred and sometimes even only ten.

It is necessary to avoid that the wave reaches these countries where there is no dam on the spot and where the means in resuscitation are nonexistent.Yvan Savy, director of Plan International France

Save the Children for its part, warns of the risk run by malnourished children and specifies that acute respiratory diseases represent an increased risk of complications in children under five years of age. The organization stresses the importance of protecting the most vulnerable groups and ensuring continuity of essential health services. Save the Children reminds that in sub-Saharan Africa, half of the population does not have access to quality health services, which raises fears of a much higher mortality rate than elsewhere.

We are deeply concerned about the potentially deadly implications of the spread of Covid-19 in low-income countries.Dr Zaeem Haq, Medical Director at Save the Children

In an attempt to limit the spread of the new virus, international organizations are working with their partners on the ground to strengthen prevention measures. Basic sanitation supplies such as clean water and soap have been made available to communities, but the needs are enormous. In sub-Saharan Africa, 63% of people in urban areas (nearly 258 million people) cannot wash their hands with soap, according to UNICEF.

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