From Easing Lockdowns to Scaling-Up Community-Based COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Contact Tracing in Africa - Shared Approaches, Innovations, and Challenges to Minimize Morbidity and Mortality

May 31, 2020; Oxford Clinical Infectious Diseases.


The arrival of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the African continent resulted in a range of lockdown measures that curtailed the spread of the infection but caused economic hardship. African countries now face difficult choices regarding easing of lockdowns and sustaining effective public health control measures and surveillance. Pandemic control will require efficient community screening, testing, and contact tracing; behavioral change interventions; adequate resources; and well-supported, community-based teams of trained, protected personnel. We discuss COVID-19 control approaches in selected African countries and the need for shared, affordable, innovative methods to overcome challenges and minimize mortality. This crisis presents a unique opportunity to align COVID-19 services with those already in place for human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, malaria, and non communicable diseases through mobilization of Africa’s interprofessional healthcare workforce. By addressing the challenges, the detrimental effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on African citizens can be minimized.

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