COVID-19 Pandemics: Emerging Theories for Africa’s Low Death Rates

Bamidele Johnson Alegbeleye

Consultant General Surgeon, Department of Surgery, St Elizabeth Catholic General, Hospital, Shisong, Northwestern Region, Cameroon

Dr. Bamidele Johnson Alegbeleye, Consultant General Surgeon, Department of Surgery, St Elizabeth Catholic General, Hospital, Shisong, Northwestern Region, Cameroon.

Keywords: COVID-19; Death Rate; Social Distancing


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic towards the ending of the year 2019, there was anxiety and uneasiness in several quarters about the consequences as it reached Africa. The greatest worry is that our healthcare services in Africa are overburdened by multiple factors including i) overstretched fatigue, ii) underfunding iii) the existing load of infectious and non-infectious diseases. These are somewhat being expressed in the catastrophic terms [1,2].
Surprisingly, the development took a different dimension from the expected. The one million reported COVID-19 related death mark was exceeded on September 30, 2020. However, the accurate figure is presumed, of course, to be higher. The total estimate figure for Africa was 35,954 deaths. This development rattled researchers because Africa constitutes about 17% of the global population, but recorded an estimated 3.5% of the reported global COVID-19 deaths [1-4]. There are concerns that the figures could be presumably low due to variable quality covering a wide range of such African countries, mostly because it is far from the predicted [1-4]. However, many African countries’ obtained statistics depict an emerging higher figure, but the severity and mortality much lower than expected initially based on China and Europe’s experience. Some opined that this scenario might be related to Africa’s much younger population, thus giving the apparent difference. Other authors queried that it could probably be due to the underreporting of events [1-4].

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