World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa published a study On Thursday saying that only one in seven COVID-19 cases is detected in Africa.
Using a coronavirus calculator by Resolve to Save Lives, the WHO found that only 14.2 percent of cases on the continent were being detected. The calculator found in October. 10, there were 59 million coronavirus infections in Africa, well above the only eight million recorded cases.
To try to find more people who have contracted COVID-19, the organization announced a new program in eight countries that will provide rapid diagnostic tests to up to seven million people over the next year.
The program takes a more active role in providing tests to people, as most positive cases are currently counted after someone comes to seek medical attention.
“With limited testing, we continue to fly blind in too many communities in Africa. Most testing is done in people with symptoms, but much of the transmission is driven by asymptomatic people, so what we see could be just the tip of the iceberg, ”said WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said.
“The number of tests has increased in Africa, but this community initiative is a radically new approach that should help significantly increase detection rates. More testing means quick isolation, less transmission and more lives saved through specific actions, ”Moeti added.
Burundi, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Zambia are the countries participating in the program and WHO each donates $ 1.8 million to go to local communities and give them tests .
The program uses the “ring strategy” that was used to combat smallpox.