Only 27% of health professionals, or about one in four, have been fully vaccinated in Africa against Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated Thursday, November 25.
This situation “Leaves most of the staff on the front line against the pandemic unprotected”, adds the WHO regional office for Africa, in a statement released after a weekly virtual press briefing.
“The majority of health workers in Africa are still not vaccinated and remain dangerously exposed to severe forms” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, was concerned about the disease.
Or, selon l’OMS, “It is essential that healthcare workers have high immunization coverage, not only for their own protection, but also for the protection of their patients, and for health systems to continue to function in times of dire need “.
Resurgence of cases on the continent
“The shortage of health workers in Africa is acute and deep”, she recalls, specifying that sixteen countries in the region have less than one health professional per 1,000 inhabitants.
“Given the upsurge in cases in Africa that can be expected after the holiday season, countries urgently need to speed up the roll-out of vaccines to health workers.”, said Dr Moeti.
“In Africa, we are gradually overcoming the problems of supplying vaccine doses. Now is not the time to let mistrust of vaccines get in the way ”, she added.
According to the WHO, “After almost four months of a sustained decline, the number of cases of Covid-19 in the general population has stabilized in Africa”. “For the first time since the peak of the third wave in August, the number of cases increased in southern Africa, jumping 48% in the week ending November 21 compared to the previous week”, specifies the organization.
WHO says a recent global study of twenty-two predominantly high-income countries shows that more than 80% of their health workers are fully immunized.
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