How can we overcome pandemic fatigue in 2021?

  COVID-19 has shocked the world and requires constant vigilance; but until the roll-out of safe and effective vaccines (of high-uptake), we should not easily revert to life prior to the pandemic. Public support for mitigation measures have been remarkable; still, as expected, signs of pandemic fatigue are reported throughout the world. Published and unpublished […]

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An effective national response to COVID-19: what not to learn from Sweden

  “The measures enjoined were far from Draconian and one had the feeling that many concessions had been made in a desire not to alarm the public” (The Plague, Albert Camus, 1947)   Why is it that Sweden, which was first to introduce mandatory use of seatbelts in cars, seems to be the last country […]

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Two cases of SARS: Fighting police brutality and COVID-19 in Nigeria

  Over the last three weeks, young people have taken to the streets across the country, in the middle of a pandemic, to protest against police brutality in Nigeria. In some instances, the peaceful protestors have been met with more violence and to one of the darkest days in modern history in Nigeria now infamously […]

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Caught between the virus and poverty: Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on indigenous communities in India

  “Are we not human? Don’t we have flesh and blood? We have been toiling in the field, which is why you have enough to feed yourself and your family. Don’t forget that.” shouted Nanchiamma and stood silently for a while under the shadow of the bus waiting-shed. She started again, “My son was sweating […]

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Science, society & politics: being future ready

  In the last nine months, COVID-19 has proved to be unlike any other outbreak the world has seen in the past century. Its impact is beyond health and is expected to last years – if not more. We saw first-hand how ill-prepared we were to deal with the pandemic. Even countries like USA and […]

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COVID-19 guidelines for reopening schools: policy considerations for children with special education needs

  The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significant consequences on all aspects of society and greatly impacts health and education systems worldwide. A recent article in the Lancet evaluates the measures necessary to prevent a second COVID-19 wave in the United Kingdom (UK) and explains that easing of physical distancing, including reopening of schools, […]

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Building Back Better – a new hybrid approach to neglected tropical diseases in the COVID-19 era

  COVID-19 established its foothold in Africa in April 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued interim guidance which encouraged neglected tropical disease (NTD) elimination programs to temporarily suspend community-based activities where COVID-19 transmission had begun. Governments responded and interventions, including population-based surveys, mass drug administration (MDA), and active case finding, were soon suspended. This […]

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How COVID-19 Fractured Medical Aid Delivery

  COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our understanding of many aspects of health care, and offers us a different lens through which to view medical humanitarianism. The pandemic has had a significant impact on medical aid; going beyond the obvious financial implications of an economic crisis and extending to personnel, supplies, and disease control. Foreign-aid budget […]

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Africa Amid Growing Vaccine Nationalism

  Among potential vaccines on clinical trials for the SARS-CoV-2 virus globally, the Ox1CoV-19 VIDA-Trials in Johannesburg is the sole candidate in Africa – a collaboration between Oxford University and University of Witswatersrand. This is worrisome despite capacities to conduct clinical trials in other countries including Senegal, Egypt and Algeria. Determined to increase this number, […]

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Towards improved Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems during public health emergencies: Reflections from Africa CRVS week

  The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the health systems of the Africa Region, including in the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. This year’s Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Week explored these with a series of webinars on the theme, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics as an Essential Service for Monitoring […]

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