Feature Stories

How Nigeria is tackling COVID-19 variants

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the higher the chances of more variants emerging. Since the onset of the pandemic, four variants of concern have been identified, with the Delta—first detected in India—being the most transmissible currently and dominant in many countries. In Nigeria, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, explains how the country is responding to the pandemic in the wake of the more infectious variants.

Why genomic sequencing is crucial in COVID-19 response

In December 2020, South Africa detected the Beta variant and in May 2021 the Delta variant, thanks to robust genomic surveillance. Professor Tulio De Oliveira, a renowned bioinformatician who identified the Beta variant, explains the criticality of genomic sequencing. Professor De Oliveira is the Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) based in South Africa.

Scaling up genomic sequencing in Africa

COVID-19 has had a catastrophic impact on lives and livelihoods. But it has also spurred impactful scientific research that gave the world a vaccine in record time and thrust genomic sequencing at the centre of pandemic response.

Guinea’s swift action in detecting, curbing Marburg

When a man in Temessadou M’Boket – a village in the densely forested southern Guinea region – died in early August 2021 after suffering fever, headache and haemorrhage, a medical team was quickly dispatched, and within hours of his death, laboratory analysis revealed that he had been ill with Marburg.