KAMPALA — With the emerging Covid-19 variants, most of all the vicious Delta variant visa-vis the low vaccination rate in Africa and the ongoing vaccine apartheid practiced by the developed world against Africa, questions of our survival as Africans emerge.
With the characteristics of the Delta variant which I will show hereunder, Africa is left with one option, that is to dialogue with death to delay the death verdict on our societies as we build capacity because the fact is that we’re already in the DEATH HORIZON
In the circumstances, there is one issue faced with Africa and that is, will Africans survive the GOST DELTA?
To begin with, only 1% of Africans have been vaccinated most of them from the north of the Sahara. Of the nearly 3bn doses administered globally, less than 2% are in Africa. See: The Economist. Dated 28th June, 2021
Dr. Nkengasong notes that African countries have placed orders to meet the CDC’s target of getting vaccinated by the end 2022. The problem is turning orders into deliveries.
Strive Masiyiwa an African Union Special Envoy and a Zimbabwean business man helping Africa CDC to procure vaccines says that all production capacity for 2021 has been snapped up by rich governments. He likens the situation to food shortage in the village where “The rich guys kidnap the baker leaving other residents to starve. See: The Economist (Supra)
Furthermore, Strive Masiyiwa accuses the worlds richest nations of deliberately failing to provide enough Covid-19 vaccines to the continent. See: The Guardian. Thursday 24th June, 2021 at 14.27BST by Silence Charumbira
In Uganda, by 27th June, 2021 only 843,039 people had been vaccinated translating to 3%of the population. Countries where Covid-19 vaccines are being developed are limiting or stopping the export of the vaccines as they focus on their population. This is against the early agenda of the global equity for the vaccine. See: Daily Monitor of 28th June, 2021 by Tonny Abet.
THE DELTA VARRIANT/ GOST DELTA
A variant of the Covid-19 virus known as the Delta variant, 1st identified in India, is spreading rapidly in some regions on track to become the dominant virus strain globally, health experts warn. See: CNN dated 21st June, 2021 by Holmes.
The transmition advantage of the Delta variant that it is spreading at a global pace. This is a sign that the race between vaccination and the virus could tip in favor of the latter unless countries ramp up their immunization campaigns and practice caution, scientists warn.
The variant, first detected in India, has been identified in at least 92 countries and is considered the “Fittest” variant yet of the virus that causes Covid-19 with its enhanced ability to pray on vulnerable-particularly in the places with low vaccination rates.
Research conducted in the UK were the variant accounts for 99% of the Covid-19 cases, suggests, it is about 60% more transmissible than the* Alpha variant which previously dominated. It may also be linked to a greater risk of hospitalization and is some what more resistant to vaccines particularly after one dose. This explains why some Ugandans have doubt the efficacy of the vaccine on account that even those vaccinated are getting sick and are dying. Perhaps from the research above the vaccinated people dying in Uganda could be those that only one dose of the vaccine and were yet to get a second dose (emphasis mine).
Even then, the world health organization insists that even those fully vaccinated should play it safe by putting on masks, social distancing, washing hands regularly and so on and so forth.
This is the problem with hanging everything on vaccines until you have got something near a population community threshold……you need a much higher courage to protect against a variant that is more transmissible. Said Dr. Stephen Griffin a Virologist and Associate Professor at the University of Leads School of Medicine.
“It really speaks to the fact that we must keep cases down at the same time as rolling the vaccines out. The real scenario is that you have to build your vaccine wall before you get exposed to variants, because that means that even if you don’t get an outbreak, you have got sufficiently few people that are susceptible that the R ( Production number) never gets above 1, you don’t see an increase in that outbreak.
The problem is that we haven’t reached that protective level, and so if you don’t get infections and cases growing there is plenty of susceptible people to pass that infection on to do.
This is a sign that we must go belt and braces in all of this. There is no point of leaving it half done. We can’t ignore children in vaccination campaign he said. If we do then we may end up in a cycle of variants” See: commentaries of Dr. Stephen Griffin in The Guardian. Dated 27th June, 2021 by Natalie Grover.
With the above information, I see Africa at crossroads. African governments are faced with the question of minimizing infection rates as they roll out the vaccination process in the midst of scarcity of vaccines in Africa.
As already observed above from various reports, the Delta variant has got a high transmissible rate, minimizing infection can only be effected only if society is in a lockdown. It follows that many African governments have no capacity to maintain people in lockdown because they have no capacity to feed hungry town dwellers majority of whom earn less than 2dollars yet they are no longer working.
Both the government and the people must face the fact that we’re in a crisis, the people must learn to listen and follow their leaders, the leaders must press for more transparency and accountability in order to rebuild peoples trust of their leadership in the struggle against the pandemic. It is absurd that even in the face of death, there some leaders that are just planning to siphon public funds, there merchants hiking commodity prices to abnormality, there irresponsible citizens still spreading the anti-vaccine propaganda.
I remind you my fellow Africans that it is no longer time as usual.
Having been left alone by the world, its now time for political, moral and economic maturity because at a time like this, its our collective duty to help our society recover otherwise extinction is nearing. Our neighbors, loved ones, friends and relatives have already died of this pandemic and given an indecent sendoff.
Note: whereas the practice of the developed world deliberately refusing to sell us vaccines is morally wrong, we must be reminded that it is never a duty of any one other than Africans to save Africa and Africans.
Its not time for political bickering by political interest groups in Africa, its not time to lament, its time to invoke our best as Africans.
Kamurinde John is a lawyer and the author of “THE SLAVERY IN MODERN EDUCATION”
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