5 Sub-Saharan African countries with an epidemic issue in 2022


The word pandemic before 2020 was a term relegated to apocalyptic Hollywood blockbusters and history documentaries. But following the slow but eventual recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has become more receptive to the possibility of a global health crisis.

Fortunately, it would seem that dealing with the pandemic sensitized every single individual in the world as each person knows firsthand the risk we run if we fail to contain the spread of a contagious disease.

On the flip side, while people are more informed about the dangers of contagions, numerous contagions still exist across the globe, including the motherland.

Despite still reeling economically from the coronavirus spread, Africa is back to dealing with endemic-level diseases, some of which it is ill-equipped to contain.

Several regions on the continent are dealing with some form of widespread health complication, most of which are treatable and controllable.

Below are five African countries with an epidemic on their hands, and the health issues that are currently plaguing them.

Malawi (Cholera): During the last week of October, The World Health Organization reported that Malawi had a cholera problem on its hands with 26 out of the 29 districts of the country affected. Earlier in the month, the country’s ministry of health had sounded the alarm and called for aid to help contain the spread. But it wouldn’t be till the end of the month before the WHO donated cholera kits and medical supplies worth $190,000 to the Ministry of Health in Malawi to step up its cholera outbreak response. There are at least 4900 cholera cases in the country.

Uganda (Ebola virus): This country has found itself dealing with one of the most feared contagions of our time, Ebola. For weeks now the country has been putting measures in place to control the spread, the latest being flight checkups and early closure of schools. The current number of confirmed cases stands at 115. See more details about the outbreak here.

Democratic Republic of Congo (Monkeypox): This disease is far more prevalent in the Americas and Europe as they have recorded tens of thousands of cases. But in Africa, the country with the most alarming figures is DRC. The WHO reported that DRC has the highest number of confirmed monkeypox infections. 1,284 cases and 58 deaths were confirmed between 1 January and 8 May 2022. Nigeria followed behind with around 500 cases, but zero deaths.

Ghana (Marburg): This is the only disease on the list that has been contained. It is a unique virus in the Ebola family with similar symptoms. In July Ghana announced the country’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease. A total of 198 contacts were confirmed by the WHO after 2 people died from the disease. Fortunately, on the 16th of September 2022, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Ghana declared the end of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) outbreak.

Gambia (Acute kidney damage): It was recently reported that around 70 children in the Gambia had died from acute kidney failure, and the cause according to the World Health Organization is defective cough syrups. As a result, the WHO issued a global alert over four brands of cough syrups, noting that they could be linked to acute kidney damage, following reports from The Gambia of children diagnosed with serious kidney problems. However, Gambia says it has not yet confirmed that cough syrups were the cause of the deaths, stirring controversy and leaving the details of this outbreak ambiguous.


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