Addressing the Risk Factors Contributing to High COVID-19 Infection Rates in Africa

Amb. John O. Kakonge, Ph.D.


This article argues that, to contain COVID-19 in Africa, a number of risk factors must be more seriously addressed in the fight against the disease, namely, understanding the interrelationships between population density and mass gatherings, sanitation and contaminated water, poverty, climate change, insufficient disease-tracking data, leadership style and ability, and corruption. All the above factors are intertwined and they need to be addressed in a holistic manner if the continent is to contain not only COVID-19, but also future pandemics. Regardless of other factors, as can already be seen from the experience of countries such as New Zealand, strong leadership will be critical to addressing the identified risks.

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