The Covid-19 outbreak continues to evolve in the Africa region since it was first detected in Algeria on 25 February. As of 24 July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports 638,903 cumulative cases in 47 African countries,10,000 of which are healthcare workers.
In a virtual press conference on 23 July, WHO regional director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti spoke about health worker infections in Africa. Moeti was joined by Dr Léonie Claudine Lougue (minister of health of Burkina Faso), Dr Alpha T Wurie (minister of health and population of Sierra Leone), and Dr Jemima A Dennis-Antwi (international maternal health and midwifery specialist based in Ghana).
So far, about 10% of all cases globally are among healthcare workers. However, this varies widely between individual countries. In Africa, information on health worker infections is still limited.
Moeti says the organisation has seen a range of healthcare workers contracting Covid-19, including laboratory technicians and people who provide ancillary support in healthcare settings. While Moeti was unable to give precise data, she confirmed nurses have the highest infection rate.
Moeti says the WHO is working on improving the surveillance of this problem and collection of data in Africa. This data will not only be...