With over 10,000 cases and 500 deaths as of early April, sub-Saharan Africa may quickly become the next ‘epicentre’ for the coronavirus. The pandemic’s effects on the economy—a decline in commodity prices and the decrease in tourism, for example—are already being felt. With fragile health-care systems that have shortages of healthcare professionals, supplies and the necessary infrastructure, most countries are ill-prepared for the large number of critically ill patients. Indigenous civil society organizations, including religious institutions, NGOs and community-based organizations, play a crucial role in mobilization to prevent viral spread and provide care. This webinar examines how lessons from previous health mobilization efforts by civil society in Africa might apply to the COVID-19 crisis. Amy Patterson draws on her article in the September 2019 issue of International Affairs, ‘Up in smoke? Global tobacco control advocacy and local mobilization in Africa’.
Civil Society and COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa
How can civil society improve the resilience of countries to pandemics?