Melinda Gates’ COVID-19 predictions claim the pandemic will hit Africa in the worst way possible. The philanthropist’s predictions are hardly supported by facts as she ignored African epidemic know-how and action to fight the most deadly diseases like AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, and so on. Branding her a fake prophetess of doom could be too early since her African Coronavirus projections have not yet come to pass. One cannot be certain, thus Africans should not celebrate too soon.
During a press conference with CNN, on April 10, the American multi-billionaire, Melinda Gates, wife to Bill Gates projected that the third world countries will face the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Melinda Gates projected, “It’s going to be horrible for developing countries. You’re going to see bodies on the streets of Africa.”
The next day, the COVID-19 death numbers in the United States, where Melinda Gates resides, surpassed those of Italy. Undoubtedly, the turn of events is surprising. Disturbing news has emerged from hospitals overwhelmed with patients, houses, and streets becoming gravesites in the US and many other Western nations.
The philanthropist, and those like her, perhaps looking for African dead bodies. Shockingly, some Western leaders still stress that the continent of 54 countries will experience an apocalypse jointly and unavoidably due to the pandemic yet, they are the ones experiencing a colossal COVID-19 catastrophe. Indeed, her comments betray racism.
Several Western Leaders Echo Melinda Gates’ COVID-19 Predictions
Between a knowledgeable apprehension and a misinformed conception, there is a significant gap. Most of the projections on the future effect of COVID-19 on Africa are the results of the latter. Melinda Gates is not the only one anticipating complete doom for Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also echoed Melinda Gates’ COVID-19 predictions. They said African countries will suffer more and by the end of the pandemic, there will be more than a million deaths.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) published a report in April specifying: “Anywhere between 300,000 and 3.3 million, African people could lose their lives as a direct result of COVID-19.”
Since the COVID-19 deaths in Africa have been exaggerated, the latest UNECA prediction may be the most confusing. Recently, Africa registered a total of 51,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,000 fatalities. African countries will need to have at least 7.6 million reported infections to hit 300,000 deaths according to the UNECA’s predictions. Even at existing increasing rates; 84 million individuals would need to be infected in Africa for 3.3 million deaths to occur.
How Accurate are Melinda Gates’ COVID-19 Predictions about Africa?
Several like Gates conclude that, due to Africa’s restricted testing ability, they record low infection levels. While this is true about several nations, Melinda Gates’ assessment will easily be embarrassed by improved testing capabilities by countries like Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Mauritius, and other African nations.
Ironically, African countries would have witnessed higher rates of inpatient treatment and perhaps even more deaths if these low numbers are only due to insufficient testing. They presume that African countries can do little to reduce epidemic transmission and avoid high death rates.
However, they failed to realize that African countries have a significant background in handling infectious diseases. Africa has established knowledge on how to fight epidemics which several Western countries do not have. Unlike certain western leaders, most African presidents are not ignorant of their poor health facilities. Just as diabetics realize how to cut down on sugar intake, the most efficient approach to mitigating COVID-19 is prevention and learning from previous and current epidemics.
The Western COVID-19 Projections May Never Come To Fruition
Uganda turned its efforts and mechanisms from its fight against Ebola to its present COVID-19 initiatives. President Museveni implemented travel bans and social exclusion initiatives way before the nation witnessed its first case. Uganda has now recorded 114 cases, 55 recoveries, and no fatalities since 22 March when they reported their first case.
Also, Rwanda responded quickly. In January, the government formed a monitoring and improvement committee soon after learning of the epidemic. It has educated around 500 healthcare staff and laboratory specialists to deal with the outbreak.
Senegal has local specialists that contribute to essential pandemic initiatives. The country produced a $1 COVID-19 price-effective test kit, which they are intending to share with the rest of Africa.
The COVID-19 drive project was launched in Nigeria. People report the illness online. They are tested to ascertain whether they are eligible for a quick drive to the testing area. They then obtain their results electronically.
With aims to check 100,000 citizens every two weeks, Mauritius is mass testing. The island country has buffered and activated its healthcare services. They have 3.4 medical beds per 1,000 people – more than some Western countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
Somalia volunteered in late March to send 20 doctors to help suppress the virus in Italy, defying the normal media misconceptions about the country.
Madagascar recently found a COVID-19 cure and has already exported some to Comoros, Tanzania, and Guinea-Bissau. The African Union has united all the 54 countries to fight the pandemic and encouraged all to use the Madagascar Coronavirus cure if it truly works wonders. The Congolese President, Mr. Felix, embraced the cure and has followed suit in using the remedy since the doctor, who discovered it, is Congolese.
The Colonialism Legacy Plays its Role
In essence, some African nations will face detrimental effects from the COVID-19 epidemic. But according to Aljazeera reports, it is wrong to smudge a continent of 54 countries with a broad brush and ignore African governments’ initiatives to handle the situation.
Why is it not the case with Europe and North America continents to use the same generalization strokes? Western nations should know that even though countries are of the same continent, they differ. If in Europe and North America the results of this outbreak differ significantly between nations, why should they presume the same will not happen in Africa?
It is profoundly embedded in imperialist philosophy, which disclaims the whole of Africa as fundamentally poor and unstable, that all African countries act the same way and will meet the same fate.
The legacy of colonialism has exacerbated the lie that blacks must primarily receive aid. Will it ever be possible for the West to acknowledge Africans as specialists rather than helpless victims? The UNECA and Melinda Gates’ predictions declare the African continent impotent, which is not the case because tides have changed.
Thus, they should redirect their charity attention to promoting African epidemiological approaches that are already operating well. Each society and nation has time and the position to be the expert and leader. Every country on the planet needs to be acknowledged as independent, dynamic, and varied.
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