What Can Africa Teach Us About The Coronavirus?
Since 2013 the continent of Africa has been at the forefront of the fight with Ebola. Africa though not as developed as a majority of western countries seems to have mastered the technique of containment and elimination.
Africa has never been a shining example of sanitation nor has it ever been a leader in medical research and yet it barely makes the charts when it comes to Covid-19 cases. Why? While infrastructure, medication, and know-how are vital in dealing with pandemics, they only remain a part of the solution. As the Ebola outbreak proved, health systems and workers will invariably also rely on getting locals to adopt simple but crucial behavioral changes, including consistent hand washing and ditching self-medication practices.
Having been to Africa more than 11 times and being in the continent during the time of the Ebola virus I can attest to the fact they take pandemics very seriously. If they hear mere rumors of a single person that may have contracted a virus, on the other end of a neighboring country, they will immediately begin screening every passenger attempting to cross their country's borders.
Africa doesn't test the limits of their economies, Africa acts before they are forced to and keep their preventative measures active so that they are ready to deal with anything that comes their way.
They work together to contain and eliminate the spread of viruses - they express a common unity that Americans lack.
With all the technology in the west, we need to learn from Africa and try to be more proactive with how we prevent life, economy, and politically altering pandemics like the coronavirus.
Wash your hands.