The African region faced a large-scale public health crisis, with the outbreak coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of February 16, 2022, the region recorded 7,944,049 confirmed cases with case fatality of 2.1 percent. The countries mounted and implemented several actions in response to the outbreak. Some actions entailed the use of innovative strategies in addressing transmissibility and spread of the virus, reaching the populations with vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Others were on surveillance and testing, infection prevention and control, public health and social measures as well as contact tracing, among others. The Incident Management Support Team (IMST) of the WHO AFRO further enabled the countries with evidence-driven innovations and guidelines in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This special issue of the Pan African Medical Journal documents the of the key lessons and experiences gathered from response to the COVID-19 pandemic in countries as well as the WHO AFRO IMST. The papers, written by those who were actively engaged in response to epidemics in countries, cover critical topics from preparedness and response to disease outbreaks, strengthening surveillance systems and integration as well as strengthening health workforce against pandemics. The comprehensive analysis of the success stories made in pandemic response will no doubt enhance response to future public health events within and outside the region. These articles therefore constitute a case of turning tragedy to gains.
Contact: Joseph Okeibunor, WHO Regional Office for Africa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The Pan African Medical Journal (ISSN: 1937-8688) is a subsidiary of the Pan African Medical Journal. The contents of this journal is intended exclusively for professionals in the medical, paramedical and public health and other health sectors.
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