Contact Tracing: Learning Lessons from Sierra Leone

“Working with the community, observing what they do, was no luxury in northern Sierra Leone: it was the key to stemming the outbreak.”

via African Arguments

COVID-19, the Working Class, and the Poor in South Africa

“South Africa is the most unequal country in the world measured in terms of both income and wealth. Inequality in South Africa is deeply racialized, gendered and spatialized. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening previously cushioned sections of society with what poor and working class individuals and households have always lived through: struggle to access food, quality education and adequate healthcare.”

via African Arguments

COVID-19: The state cannot save us

“Any society confronting the politics of ‘making live and letting die’ elicited by an epidemic needs to respond at least at two levels. One is at the level of state, which is required to act on behalf of society as a whole, ensuring the availability of resources within large systems and networks, and shaping the broader risk environment. The other is at the level of everyday life, in which individuals and communities must mobilise an ethics and technology of care for self and others, changing their behaviours locally to reduce the risk of transmission.”

via African Arguments

Some Lessons from the History of Epidemics in Africa

“COVID-19 has brought out old stereotypes of an allegedly under-medicalized, pre-modern Africa where poverty and a supposed scientific underdevelopment condemn Africans to medical impotence. However, the history of epidemics and biomedicine demonstrates the long experience and extensive expertise of researchers, caregivers, and ordinary people.”

via African Arguments

Kenya: We cannot police ourselves out of the pandemic

“From early on, the government treated COVID-19 as a law enforcement rather than public health issue. It has a long way to go to rebuild trust.”

via African Arguments

Kenya and COVID-19: Pandemic Response Risks Excluding Minority Groups

“The divide between those who the Kenyan state recognizes and those it does not is being felt in new, potentially harmful ways as the COVID-19 response reinforces existing fault lines of power and access.”

via African Arguments

How Mauritius’ unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19

“In asking Mauritians to obey the measures, the government benefited from a long-standing culture that frequently calls on people to act in the interests of national unity.”

via African Arguments

Where is President Biya? COVID-19 in Cameroon

“President Paul Biya has not addressed the public since the first confirmed coronavirus case in early March. The outbreak is spreading, lockdown restrictions have been announced and then eased, but the 87-year-old leader has only been notable for his absence.”

via African Arguments

Tanzania: How long can its COVID-19 strategy hold?

“After Tanzania confirmed its first case in mid-March, Magufuli went silent for about two weeks. When he reappeared at a church, he said the virus cannot survive in the body of Jesus and encouraged worshippers to keep attending religious services. In subsequent appearances, he announced there were no plans to close the borders. He encouraged Tanzania’s to inhale hot steam to kill the virus.”

via African Arguments

Local Ownership of Peace Processes in African Countries in Times of COVID-19

“The nature and level of any impact COVID-19 will have on violent conflicts remain unknown. Popular response to the virus is currently complicating ongoing peace processes while ignoring the opportunities for collective action that builds on the resilience of communities that sustain peace processes.”

via African Arguments