Technology InLock Down Part1:Has the World Ignored Africa in Covid 19

Basudha Modak
Posted April 19, 2020 from South Africa

The prognosis: With 1,055 deaths among 21,096 cases, Africa, often dubbed the world's poorest continent, may be the next epicentre, with a report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) stating that in "the best case scenario", the continent could see 300,000 fatalities from Covid-19 while in "the worst case scenario", the death toll could go as high as 3.3 million, with over 1.22 billion people infected — almost equal to India's population.

The challenges: Africa has an average of 1.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to say France — among the worst affected countries by Covid-19 — which has 5.98 beds per 1,000 people. For comparison purposes, India has 0.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Africa is also dependent on other countries for its medical and pharmaceutical supplies, with 94% imported — the EU, with 52% share and India, with 19% share, being the two leading suppliers. With most countries imposing a limitation or a complete ban on export of medical supplies and pharma products, Africa could be "in a perilous position". The continent also needs test kits as well as personal protective equipment (PE) for its healthcare staff. Another major challenge for the continent is maintaining social distancing, given that 56% of its 600 million urban population lives in slums. Social distancing and lockdowns, which have been imposed by several African countries, may therefore, fail to work — as evident from the riots that broke out in South Africa on Saturday due to food shortages and the army being called out in Lesotho to quell unrest.

TOI news 

The reason I shared this is to give a grim reality that we are facing and still unable to apprehend .In a limited way , I have been continuously doing two things 

1)Buying Food Vouchers that are not redeemable for Cash .It can be used for essential items only .If someone is requesting airtime , we are asking our sponsors to directly fill in the recharge ..

The only problem is we are not able to know how long it will be sustainable as all of us are feeling the pinch in the economy .

The number of cases against abuse if the vulnerable and children have increased manifold and there is not much that the government can do ,as for someone to reach a safe home ,they have to travel.out and at the risk of their lives many are not able to do that .

My storm in a teacup chat group has been made admin only for these times and we are reaching out to members and anyone we know to talk and if we are not able to deal ourselves to the recognised person .

I am utilizing this time to myself create some courses and will be launching them soon , perhaps not free, as we need to feed hungry mouths in the townships too .

But as much as we can keep cheap.

#SheTransformsTech

This story was submitted in response to #SheTransformsTech.

Comments 23

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Chioma Nwaoha
Apr 19
Apr 19

Hello beautiful,
Thank you for sharing.
Please stay safe.
We are here for you.

Basudha Modak
Apr 20
Apr 20

Thank you so much ,it feels better to know that we are in this together .

Chioma Nwaoha
Apr 20
Apr 20

You are welcome dear sister.Much love .

Jill Langhus
Apr 20
Apr 20

Hi Basudha,

How are you and your family doing? Thanks for sharing your post and bringing awareness to the challenges, and reality that the African continent faces. I'm glad you have started a group to help members, though, and that you're utilizing your time for personal growth.

I hope you and your family remain safe and well.

XX

Basudha Modak
Apr 20
Apr 20

Thank you .Am working in part 2 now .

Arem Chan
Apr 21
Apr 21

Hi Basudha,
I hope you and your family are well and safe and that you're staying as strong as can be!
Thank you for sharing your story. Reading the grim statistics is never easy. I can only hope and pray that the situation improves and that Africa gets more of the help that it needs!!
Well done to you creating some courses!! Out of curiosity, what kind of courses are you creating? Wishing you all the best in this endeavour!!
I'm looking forward to reading your part 2.
Sending you love from the UK :)

Basudha Modak
Apr 21
Apr 21

Survival in townships mostly.Its not easy for girls and kids ..My engineering degree is sadly lacking in these times,except for giving me the technology understanding.Feel so sad always .

BABARA ACHU
Apr 21
Apr 21

thanks for sharing. We just need to stay safe in this trying times

Basudha Modak
May 01
May 01

Yes,but when a child is hungry a parents instinct is to bring food at the cost of own life ..The townships have no basics available .How to stay inside the shanties .Even the homeless have different diseases worse than covid.There are many who don't want to stay with the terminal Ill ..Desperate for a solution .

Lily Habesha
Apr 21
Apr 21

Hey dear sister,
This such a really tough time to all African nations. Lock down and lack of the basic needs in the same time doesn't work. We watch the news, what is happening everywhere in Africa is not a story that we can write and post in a single page. Good you plan to help the vulnerable ones. We should do the things we can in a time like this.

Keep doing right.

Lily

Basudha Modak
Apr 21
Apr 21

Thank you Lily .The worst part is our economy isn't capable of letting us stay at home .Majority us work for pay else none. At the same time, we don't know who is really needy ..Am trying to uploop a bit .

SujataN
Apr 21
Apr 21

Thank you for sharing this information, Basudha. No doubt the COVID situtation throughout Africa has been overshadowed by what's happening in other parts of the world (e.g. Italy, France, US), but is no less concerning or potentially devastating. Thank you for bringing perspective to what's at stake. I wish you, your family/friends & community well through this time.

Basudha Modak
Apr 21
Apr 21

Thank u Sujata. It is a no win situation ,but for our children we have to rise above it ..And move forward .After all this century is for Africa ..

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 22
Apr 22

Dear Basudha,
Thank you for sharing this. It sure paints a grim picture of the realities on the ground esp on needs of the people of Africa.
I don't think the World has forgotten Africa. Everyone is involved in a battle for survival against an invisible enemy. I also do not focus much on these grim predictions on Africa. So far, Africa has remained the least impacted in the cases of the COVID19. If we all focus on doing what little we can in our little corners difficult and challenging as it may appear, we can all help curb the spread.
To me, I believe this is equally a time for Africans to sit up and take charge of their lives. We have the rescources, we have the man power. With a little direction and better leadership, we can produce all we need without 100% depending on the West.
If the West with all it's advanced technology is having a hard time containing this, then we could focus on using what nature gave us to better our lives and not remain dependent. It could be best if we come out of this being inter-dependent of each other.

Please keep save and keep taking care.

Basudha Modak
Apr 22
Apr 22

This is so wonderful ly true.We African needs to take charge of our lives and become more interdependent on each other. With extensive testing my adoptive country has already faced 58 deaths and so many infection s .It is primarily due to the thinking that:1)only for those who travelled.
2) White men will only be affected.
3)TB drugs and ARV will protect us.
All three have been proved false in the 58 deaths,and with Winter here,we are afraid now..This virus proved none are invincible anymore ,and the coming months till September is going to test whole of Africa. Today is not the result daily as it is still spreading

Paulina Nayra
Apr 22
Apr 22

Dear Basudha,
We live in challenging extraordinary times. Crazy that this has to happen to us, especially in countries who have difficulty in feeding, sheltering, protecting and educating all its people. But what can we do but to stay home, do what we can to educate people, donate what we can to help feed those who are badly affected. Let's keep our sanity by living one day at a time . And taking care of ourselves.
Please take care. Stay safe. Good luck in your endeavors.
Hugggs.

Basudha Modak
Apr 22
Apr 22

Thank u Paulina..Prayers for all of us.

Seka
Apr 23
Apr 23

Thanks for sharing Basudha. We lift up our eyes on God who is above all.
Stay safe!
In sisterhood

Basudha Modak
Apr 23
Apr 23

Thank you Seka..More power to.us.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Apr 26
Apr 26

Stay safe and I sincerely commend you on your idea.It is my sincere hope that the Covid 19 Pandemic would come to an end very soon.

chimdirimebere
Apr 28
Apr 28

Hi Basudha,
Thank you for sharing and reminding us of our individual roles during this pandemic - COVID-19. The truth of the matter is that we Africans are not looking inward in ways to contain the virus. We are doing copy and paste as it is being done in the West. From the social distancing, stay home, stay safe, lockdown and lock-in, it is very difficult to observe and practice taken into consideration our peculiar culture and environment. In my village, women wake up in the morning and give out a certain type of call to wake up other women who will come out from their houses to embrace each other to say good morning. This practice without being told is to make sure that they all slept very well and are awake to start off with their chores for the day. They have done this for centuries and all of a sudden "some white man will come and tell us how to greet."

Stay home. Yes we copied and pasted this without taken into consideration that most people live below $1 a day in Africa. Some families struggle to make N1,000 (Nigeria), less than $3 a day which they would use to feed a family of five or six for that day and tomorrow to start again. Is it this bottom billion that you are asking to stay home and stay safe?

Lockdown. Yes, we are to lockdown. Just like what i wrote in the preceding paragraph, most people do not have any savings in their bank accounts. People eat from hand to mouth. Some of the palliatives coming from government and some of our politicians are so disgusting and bereft of any human dignity. Some gave a village a 25kg bag of rice to be shared by more than 200 vulnerable people. And they call it palliatives? And people should stay home? It is a mirage.

We are just grateful to God that something miraculous is happening in Africa and that is why we are not seeing casualties. Even when we rightly say that we don't have enough test kits, PPEs and isolation centres to contain the virus, I am surprise that people are not dying like flies, because they should after the two weeks and or one month stay home, lockdown as it is in some states and countries of Africa that is if infected with the virus. But here we are. Our fatality figures are disappointing some self made prophets and prophetesses that Africa will see more casualties from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Be strong Africans. This too shall pass!

Chimdirimebere Harriet Okoro

Kabahenda
May 04
May 04

Sister Basudha,

Thanks for sharing your story. Our hearts and prayers are with Africa.

You will excuse this question because I do not live in Africa, but is the African Union doing anything about CODIV-19?

How about the ECA that published the report?

Basudha Modak
May 04
May 04

African countries are individually trying to do as much as it can to control .But frankly we have so many other bigger problems to deal with ,that we will not be able to survive a pandemic of this proportion as it has taken over the other continents .
The report is just a paragraph of a news paper article .
In SouthAfrica government has stopped any help from npo or individuals.It all has to come through the government and as I write many of us are not very sure if it is reaching the right hands .
So that is where technology helps ..
Let us see .