Pandemic Squeezes Fragile Health Systems

COVID-19 cases may seem low in Burkina Faso, but the pandemic is soaking up precious emergency care resources, The Guardian reports

  • Some doctors have been forced to pay for blood pressure and glucose monitors, oximeters, and other critical supplies.

  • Doctors themselves are in short supply, too—with just 30 lung specialists for a country where respiratory diseases are the leading cause of death. 

  • The COVID-19 ward survival rate at Ouagoudougou’s Tengandogo University hospital is 50%.  

  • A second wave has spiked admissions, threatening to overrun hospitals.

Somalia’s fragile health system is also straining to cope with a resurgence of cases, and hopsital administrators suspect a new variant is to blame, according to the AP.
“Earlier, when 100 suspected patients were brought to quarantine, not more than 30 of them would be positive, but now almost all of them are infected,” said Sadaq Adan Hussein, a Mogadishu hospital deputy director. 

  • Cases climbed from 4,784 to 6,549 in February.

  • Health workers believe the official death toll of 218 is far below the actual toll. 

  • And, as the AP writer points out, “Somalia, like most African countries, has yet to see a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
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