Many African countries have long experience in dealing with infectious diseases and by now have developed know-how that many Western countries might not have. And many African leaders are also not unaware of their fragile healthcare systems – unlike some of their Western counterparts. This might, in fact, be the basis on which a lot of the continent’s proactive response is founded. Just as someone who is diabetic knows to avoid sugar, African governments understand that their most effective strategy in the battle against COVID-19 is prevention and applying lessons learned from previous and/or ongoing outbreaks. Indeed, there surely will be some African countries where the COVID-19 outbreak will have a devastating impact. But painting with a wide brush a whole continent of 54 countries and dismissing efforts of African governments to deal with the situation is simply wrong. Why do we not see the same broad strokes applied to continents like Europe and North America? Western countries are able to recognise nuance and complexities within themselves, acknowledging that no two countries are exactly alike. If outcomes of this epidemic in Europe and North America vary greatly from country to country, why is it not possible to assume that the same would be the case in Africa?
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA