COVID-19 -- what aren't we hearing about the situation in Africa?

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Image: Victoria Fenner

In the ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 crisis, there are many places that we don't hear a lot about. One of the places is Africa. On today's rabble radio, we're playing two interviews from rabble contributors who have reached out to their colleagues and contacts in Africa -- one in Mozambique, another in Tanzania.

In some ways, the challenges people face there aren't a lot different from here. Businesses, schools and government offices are shut down. People are told to wear masks and to social distance. And the problem of misinformation, rumours and fake news exists there as well as here. But, as we'll hear in these two interviews, it's a lot harder in places where people don't only have to fight off the virus, but also have to deal with systemic poverty and, especially inadequate health care.

In a May 20 article, the BBC reported a World Health Organization prediction that nearly a quarter of a billion Africans could contract COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic. Numbers are still low so far --  as of today, there are just over 111,000 cases and almost 2,800 deaths, which is lower than other places in the world according to a June 3, 202o report by the WHO.

Today's show features two interviews:

1.) On May 21, David Kattenburg of the Green Planet Monitor spoke with GPM correspondent Josephat Mwanzi, in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam. In an interview from May 21, 2o2o, they talked about the what Mwanzi was seeing on the streets, and how people are reacting to the COVID-19 threat.

2.) Our second interview focuses on Mozambique and comes to us from the Saskatoon-based radio program Making the Links. Don Kossick posted this interview on May 22. It's with Jessie Forsyth, project director of the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project, talking to Making the Links host Don Kossick about the impact of COVID-19 in Mozambique, and initiatives there to deal with the impact.

Both interviews on today's show were excerpts from longer interviews. To hear the entire interviews, go to for the interview with Josephat Mwanzi and to Soundcloud for the interview with Jessie Forsyth

Image: Victoria Fenner


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