Reports have indicated last week that the first case of coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa has been registered in Nigeria. Populous as Nigeria is, the appearance of this virus there is a great concern for the whole of Africa.
Most of the sub-Saharan African countries have weak healthcare systems and it will be devastating if the virus were to spread in largescale in these countries as they will find it very difficult to cope and stem its rapid spread.
If developed countries like China are still struggling to control its spread and uphill now, neither a vaccine nor cure has been found it is really scary. This is why the focus has to be on prevention rather than on cure.
In The Gambia, it has been reported that the Ministry of Health is working in collaboration with the Medical Research Council (MRC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other interested parties to prepare fully for a possible outbreak if it ever reaches here.
It is indeed important to be as prepared as one can be when dealing with issues like this virus and other forms of diseases. The health workers throughout the country should be prepared both mentally and professionally so that if, God forbid, the virus were to reach here, they will be able to deal with it efficiently.
Another important aspect of the preparation is that of the population. The Ministry of Health and its partners should strengthen the already existing sensitization mechanisms to ensure that the population is given all the information they need about this virus.
It is true that they have already started preparing the population mentally, but nonetheless, more effort is needed so that it becomes what everyone is talking about on radio, television, social media and newspapers.
If people are fully informed of the signs and symptoms and given simple tips as to what they should do to prevent themselves from being infected; and what they should do if they are infected, then that will go a long way in ensuring the health safety of the people of the country.