In Côte d’Ivoire, the side effects of Covid-19

Concentrated on the fight against the pandemic, the health forces have abandoned other priorities, such as malaria. The fear of the inhabitants worsens the situation.

In the waiting room open to the four winds, about twenty residents, especially women, wait on the bare concrete benches. “Little by little, things are getting back to normal,” observes Bertin Koffi, head of the health center in Abobo BC, a working-class neighborhood in Abidjan. “When the epidemic started, people were so afraid to come here that some days we had no patients!” he remembers. In question, the fear of “catching the corona”. “They preferred to take care of themselves at home with traditional mixtures made from tree leaves, rather than coming to collect our medicines,” said the doctor who, with his team, had to walk through the surrounding rutted alleys to reassure the inhabitants.

Thanks to the youth of its population and the responsiveness of the authorities, Côte d’Ivoire, like most other African countries, has been relatively spared from the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the detection of the first case in March and until September 11, “only” 119 people have died. However, it is possible that this health crisis has had side effects, affecting the fight against other infectious diseases endemic in the region. In 2014-2016, the Ebola epidemic killed 11,000 people directly, and 10,000 others indirectly, according to the study of a Cameroonian researcher.

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