COVID-19 Patients in Intensive Care Unit in Africa Photo: TV360Nigeria

Africa records over 20m COVID-19 vaccinations as critical patients die amid limited resources

*Inoculations against the Coronavirus reached 4,748,002, while over 20,248,590 vaccinations have been administered in 55 African countries as of May 23

*Critically ill COVID patients face an outsize risk of death, mostly because healthcare systems are lacking in basic infrastructure as hospital beds and oxygen machines

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As immunisations against the damaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, confirmed virus cases from 55 African countries have reached 4,748,002, while over 20,248,590 vaccinations have been administered across the continent as of May 23, 2021.

ConsumerConnect gathered that critically ill COVID patients in Africa also face an outsize risk of death, mostly because healthcare systems are lacking in basic infrastructure such as hospital beds and oxygen machines, according to a study.

Reported deaths on the continent have reached 128,192 and 4,292,139 people have recovered.

Death rate is said to be almost half of patients in relation to 32 percent global average, as the study noted lack of intensive-care resources in most parts of Africa.

South Africa has the most reported cases – 1,632,571 – and 55,772 people died. Other most-affected countries are Morocco ( 516,812 ), Tunisia ( 334,901 ), Ethiopia ( 268,520), Egypt ( 252,690 ), Libya ( 182,899 ) and Kenya ( 168,108 ), agency report stated.

The study findings in the report published The Lancet Thursday, May 20 revealed that the death rate in the month after admission to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is about 48 percent on the continent, compared with about 32 percent globally.

Co-author Bruce Biccard of South Africa’s Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town stated the examination of severe COVID-19 sufferers in Africa “indicates that our ability to provide sufficient care is compromised by a shortage of critical-care beds and limited resources within intensive-care units.”

The findings come as the continent faces a chronic shortage of vaccines, leaving a population of more than 1.3 billion people vulnerable to new virus variants and waves of infections, report said.

Whereas several developed countries of the world are well-advanced with their immunisation rollouts, many African countries reportedly have used almost two thirds of supplies yet less than 0.5 percent of people are fully vaccinated on the Black continent.

The study focused on 64 hospitals in 10 countries including Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique.

About 3,140 patients were included, of which the majority were middle-aged men. Among the resources in short supply, the researchers cited renal dialysis equipment, blood-oxygen monitors and respiratory machines.

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