Feature Stories

Testing at the core of Gabon’s COVID-19 battle

With over 60 sample collection sites, a network of laboratories, including a high-capacity one, Gabon has tested nearly a tenth of its 2 million people for COVID-19. Diagnosis has been expanded through mass testing and decentralization beyond the capital city.

Benin boosts COVID-19 response with increased testing

Cotonou – Benin’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed at the Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Laboratory in the capital Cotonou in March 2020. Then it was the country’s sole facility able to test for the virus. At best it could carry out only 300 tests per day.

Benin boosts COVID-19 response with increased testing

Benin’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed at the Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Laboratory in the capital Cotonou in March 2020. Then it was the country’s sole facility able to test for the virus. At best it could carry out only 300 tests per day.

Enhancing diagnosis to beat COVID-19 in Senegal

Senegal’s Institut Pasteur was one of only two laboratories in Africa able to test for COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. The institution’s director, Dr Amadou Sall, speaks about the efforts Senegal has made to strengthen testing as well as the challenges faced.

Battling COVID-19 in communities

Kampala – In a low-income suburb of Makindye, in the Ugandan capital, Hakim Kiggundu has gathered a group of around 30 people from the community near his home, under a tree in a clearing among the houses. In this tight-knit community of narrow mud roads and small wooden houses, people are used to living cheek-by-jowl, but now they are sitting on neatly-spaced white plastic chairs, a few metres apart.

Keeping displaced persons safe from COVID-19 in South Sudan

As the world’s youngest country readied measures to prevent widespread COVID-19 infections, its years of conflict and natural disasters suddenly presented an unparalleled challenge: protecting thousands of displaced persons from COVID-19 within the sites set up over the past decade as refuge.  

Coping with mental health impact of COVID-19

Dan Bukenya felt beleaguered by anguish. He lost sleep most nights and was often testy. He tried to self-medicate to no avail. Only when he agreed to be treated at a hospital did he find relief. “They gave me medicines and I could finally sleep.”

Surviving COVID-19 and fighting stigma in Uganda

Kampala – When 30-year-old Ugandan entrepreneur Laura Nagasha returned from a holiday in Dubai in March, Uganda was yet to register any confirmed cases of COVID-19, and Dubai was not on the list of high-risk countries for the virus. Nagasha was tired from a busy trip and had developed a slight cough, but felt fine otherwise. After her arrival she decided to stay with friends for a while rather than returning straight home to her parents. 

Overcoming COVID-19 at 99 years-old in Guinea

When Bagama Guehara walked out of Donka Hospital in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on 7 July this year, leaning on a walking stick for support, she was met with a rapturous applause from the medical staff and fellow patients.