Tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19): West African perspectives
COVID-19 and West Africa in numbers
In late February 2020, the first case of Covid-19 in West Africa was recorded in Nigeria. Within one month, the virus had spread to all 17 countries. The number of confirmed cases depends on how much a country actually tests. For many countries in the region, data on testing is either incomplete or unavailable. Similarly, death tolls must be interpreted with caution. They may exclude people who did not die in a hospital, or who died before they could be tested. They are also likely to exclude people who died from other causes because hospitals were overwhelmed by a surge in Covid-19 patients.
Testing policies by country
Confirmed cases, recoveries & deaths
Evolution of confirmed cases
Testing is a window into the pandemic
COVID-19 and gender
Women's livelihoods under threat
Millions of girls are missing out on an education
Fighting COVID-19: West African initiatives
Many innovative and local initiatives to fight Covid-19 are springing up. Examples include universities producing hand sanitisers, civil society actors distributing kits for handwashing and leading communication campaigns on preventive measures in local dialects, tailors making masks, as well as the private sector repurposing manufacturing processes to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators.