Feature Stories

WHO concerned as COVID-19 cases accelerate in Africa

With more than 6000 COVID-19 cases reported in Africa, the virus is threatening fragile health systems on the continent. Infections are increasingly spreading not only between African countries but within different localities in the hardest-hit countries.

Sur fond de confinements en Afrique, l'OMS lance une formation en ligne pour les act...

Alors que le déploiement de personnel pour appuyer les pays devient impossible en raison des restrictions de voyage et des confinements mises en place par plusieurs pays africains pour arrêter la propagation du COVID-19, le Bureau régional de l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé pour l’Afrique (OMS/AFRO) a lancé aujourd'hui le premier cours en ligne à l’intention des intervenants dans les urgences pour renforcer les efforts de lutte contre le virus.

WHO in Africa holds first ‘hackathon’ for COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa hosted its first virtual ‘hackathon’ bringing together 100 leading innovators from across sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to pioneer creative local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and address critical gaps in the regional response.

Algeria’s main lab anchors COVID-19 response

When a sample sent to the referral laboratory in the capital Algiers gave a positive result, the Ministry of Health announced Algeria’s first COVID-19 case on 26 February, becoming the second African country to confirm the virus. Since then, dozens of people have caught the infection. Unlike years past, it now takes just two hours to analyse such specimen. In addition to speed, the laboratory is also striving to ensure testing integrity – an important cog in the efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Rapid Response Teams are racing against the spread of COVID in Africa

When the Kenyan Government announced the country’s first case of COVID-19, clinician Jackson Njoroge was already hard at work.  He and his colleagues from the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Team had already drawn up a list of people who might have come into contact with the first patient.  Now they were rushing to find them. His mission was to find another passenger from the flight that had brought Kenya’s case into the country.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has already helped train 1,500 Kenyan health workers in various health facilities to prepare for just this situation.  With the announcement, the country’s government and WHO Office shifted from a state of readiness to response mode.

Algeria’s COVID-19 hotline props up rapid response

Leaning over desks with hands-free headsets hugging veils or bare heads, a team of doctors answers seemingly endless phone calls. Hundreds of worried callers ring every day to seek advice on how to stay safe, understand the symptoms or find out if the flu they are battling is indeed the new COVID-19. 

Follow-up of last Ebola contacts ends

The observation period of the last people to have come in contact with an Ebola patient in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended, another significant step in the efforts to end the outbreak. The 21-day follow-up for the 46 contacts elapsed on 10 March. 

Ebola community health workers trained for the future

Beni, 10 March 2020 – In a small commune of mud and wattle homes in Beni, Rose Amboko walks into a family garden, a flash thermometer in hand. In this last remaining Ebola hotspot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), mistrust and suspicion have been major factors in prolonging the outbreak. But here, Ms Amboko, 25, is welcomed as a friend, as she comes to monitor these close contacts of an Ebola patient, to make sure they’re in good health.

Reducing Ebola risk through voluntary isolation

In the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak, in the city of Beni in North Kivu, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Democratic of the Republic of the Congo’s Health Ministry adopted a strategy once used during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to simplify vital work of monitoring contacts of patients.