News Releases

COVID-19 cases top 10 000 in Africa

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has risen to more than 10 000 and caused more than 500 deaths. While the virus was slow to reach the continent compared to other parts of the world, infection has grown exponentially in recent weeks and continues to spread.

Borno closes Lassa fever outbreak, briefs Media on COVID-19

Maiduguri, 21 March, 2020 - Following concerted partners’ response, led by the World Health Organization, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salihu Kwayabura has declared an end of Lassa fever outbreak in Borno State. The current outbreak, which was the second in almost five decades, was isolated from a 30-year old man from Garba Buzu settlement in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council on 23 January 2020. 

More than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa

More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 34 countries in Africa as of 19 March, compared with 147 cases one week ago. Although the region has seen a significant increase in confirmed cases recently, there are still fewer cases than in other parts of the world.

Africa is one-step away from wild polio eradication verdict

The African region completes a critical step towards wild polio eradication as the independent commission to decide on the African Region’s wild poliovirus-free status has concluded its final field visit to Nigeria today, after conducting critical analysis to verify the documentation presented by the Nigerian Government. 

South African Development Community unites to tackle COVID-19

Ministers of Health from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) this week agreed to harmonize and coordinate their efforts to respond to COVID-19 in the region.  South Africa – a member of the SADC – confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 5th March, the first country and so far only country in southern Africa to do so.

Pioneer UN volunteers at WHO Regional Office for Africa

Today, 8 March 2020, the world is celebrating the International Women Day. The theme this year is "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. It is a call to address inequities. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa committed to achieving gender parity among its staff. Women now account for 33% of WHO workforce, up from 27% in 2015. 

WHO and key health partners join forces to fight COVID-19 in Africa

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) and key health partners are strengthening cooperation to better coordinate readiness and response efforts across Africa. WHO convened a meeting in Nairobi this week, with representatives from the Kenyan Health Ministry, the African Union and key United Nations partner agencies in attendance.  A parallel meeting was also taking place in Dakar with Francophone partners, also led by the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Inoculating against the ‘infodemic’ in Africa

Brazzaville, 5 March 2020 – On entering Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, visitors are greeted by posters on how to prevent COVID-19 transmission, even before having their temperatures taken by medical staff.  Video messages play in the departure and arrival lounges. So far, the number of people in Africa confirmed to have the virus is much smaller than other parts of the world. But as more health ministries in Africa have confirmed the presence of the virus in their countries, what was once a distant threat is now much closer.