Not only do they lack ventilators, many African countries do not have enough basic things like soap or oxygen – making many people concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on the continent.
According to the New York Times, South Sudan has 11 million people but has more vice presidents (5) than ventilators (4). The Central African Republic (CAR) has only 3 ventilators nationwide, while its population is 5 million. Liberia is similar in size to only 6 ventilators – one of which is located on the premises of the US Embassy.
In total, over 41 African countries have only 2,000 ventilators available. By comparison, the United States alone has about 170,000 ventilators.
And 10 African countries do not own a ventilator.
Such clear disparities are only part of the reason why people across Africa are worried about the Covid-19 pandemic, concerned that the outbreaks here will become a disaster in a systematic country. Medical system has many difficulties.
Many experts say the problem lies in the lack of more basic supplies, such as medical masks and oxygen, or even soap and water.
Clean water and soap are so rare that only 15% of the population of sub-Saharan countries have access to basic handwashing, according to a United Nations report in 2015.
In Liberia, 97% of households did not have clean water and soap in 2017.
Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy at the Center for Global Development – a Washington-based non-profit policy institute, said: “What everyone here needs is simple things. , not tech stuff “.
Although limited testing capacity means that we cannot know the true situation of Covid-19 infection in Africa, many countries are recording a spike in recent days. In Guinea, the number of infections doubles every 6 days, in Ghana every 9 days. South Africa has recorded more than 2,600 cases, while the number in Cameroon is nearly 1,000.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that there were fewer than 5,000 intensive care beds in 43 out of 55 African countries, equivalent to 5 beds for every 1 million people, in when this number in Europe was 4,000 beds per 1 million people.
Recognizing this shortage, many countries have been trying to find supplies to supplement ventilators. Ecowas, the federation of West African nations, is trying to buy a batch of ventilators to distribute to the countries in the group. The Nigerian Ministry of Finance has called on billionaire Elon Musk to provide ventilation. Billionaire Jack Ma of China also said he would send 500 breathing machines to the continent.