Global Burden of COVID-19
The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in December 2019 in China.
By 3rd November 2020 we had global estimates of 48.8 million cases and 1.2 million deaths worldwide.
By 6th November 2020, Africa had reported 1.3 million cases. Some feel there is under reporting in Africa because of limited resources for testing.
Kenya Mozambique Uganda
The hotspots in Kenya are Nairobi and Mombasa. By 5th of November 2020 over 60,000 cases were reported and over 1,100 deaths. As the number of cases increase.
Mozambique has reported a total of 13,391 cases and 97 deaths by 5th November 2020. Uganda has reported 13,565 cases with 117 deaths.
Case Positivity Rate
Case Positivity Rate means number of tests which are positive compared to the total tests done. In situations where inadequate number of tests are done or in concentrated outbreaks, a high case positivity rate means intense transmission. Kenya has a case positivity rate of 15% indicating intense transmission.
THE SURGE OF COVID-19
Most countries have reported a surge in cases after stringent measures introduced earlier were relaxed. After the measures were relaxed, many people were not as cautious about preventing spread of the disease leading to the current “second wave”. Over 300 Health care workers have contracted the disease in Kenya. The lack of wearing masks is now against the law in Kenya and can attract a fine of K. Shs: 20,000.
There seems to be an attitude change attributable to “pandemic fatigue” whereby people become more lax and less scared of the repercussions related to contracting the disease. Some Kenyans have even expressed disbelief in the existence of the disease.
HOW OUR COMMUNITY HAS BEEN AFFECTED
Many of the elderly have contracted the disease through the younger members of their households bringing the disease home from outside. This is more prevalent in homes where up to 3 generations of an extended family live together.
HIGH BURDEN OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
A lot of our members suffer from diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases. Presence of these diseases leads to more severe form of COVID-19.
Gatherings where we eat together after religious functions or other social functions such as marriages and “family get togethers” tends to increase the chances of spread since masks are removed during eating and distances are not maintained.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
The second wave of the disease has hit us harder than the first because we have been less careful about it. Even Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an that “He does not make change for those communities till they make changes for themselves”.
Now, more than ever we need to be more cautious of our responsibilities to our environment and our surroundings.
The good thing about the current situation is that the fatality rate remains relatively low from the disease as we learn more from experiences from other countries. We also have more information on how to treat or control symptoms of infection. The pre-requisite to an almost sure positive outcome is early presentation of the disease.
Early testing is a must if we are in doubt, and we must not delay treatment. Most of all, we must prevent our community members from building on the stigma amidst us, this leads to delays in seeking early diagnosis and treatment.
Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19
You can take action to protect yourself and your family from contracting the infection. Simple things like staying home whenever possible, avoiding sick people, washing your hands often, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces can help you stay well. If you suspect you may be sick, call your doctor immediately and then, stay home until you to seek medical care.
Preventive Measures remain the same:
- Proper use of a mask
- Hand hygiene
- Maintaining social distancing
- Going for testing for the disease and getting treatment
“CHB – YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY”
CENTRAL HEALTH BOARD (CHB) OF AFRICA FEDERATION
Date: 12th November 2020