The ‘story behind the story’ of Africa’s coordinated response to COVID19. Is Africa coming of age?
Coronavirus warrior Dr John Nkengasong is not happy about corruption in PPE procurement
Dr John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control is not happy about repeated reports of corruption in procurement of Personal Protective Equipment
Speaking to the investigation currently underway in South Africa, after PPE deals worth over $299m were suspected to be fraudulent, Nkengasong said, “I remain hopeful that the government of South Africa will complete its investigation, and bring various people to order and penalise them appropriately, this lack of self-discipline, and consciousness, for the collective good of the people of South Africa.”
Dr Nkengasong has become an authority over the course of the pandemic. While he is ‘proud and pleased’ of the five African countries now manufacturing diagnostic tests for Covid-19, he believes their needs to be root and branch reform of African healthcare systems.
“We don’t have a chance of fighting another outbreak if we approach it the way we have done it this time, rushing and reacting to it”, says Dr Nkengasong. “Rather we should proactively prepare”.
On 22 September received the Global Gatekeepers award, for his role in co-ordinating late-stage vaccination trials on the continent, under the aegis of the African Union.
“Dr. Nkengasong and his team at Africa CDC are deeply deserving of this award,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Their commitment to securing the latest innovations from elsewhere in the world—as well as developing them themselves—will go a long way towards ensuring that the continent has the vaccines and medicines it needs to fight COVID-19.”
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