A new study has predicted that patients who are critically ill with Covid-19 are more likely to die in Africa than in any other region in the world.
The study published by The Lancet attributes this to the shortage of crucial equipment in hospitals that are helpful in saving lives as well as shortage of specialised staff.
About 48% of severely ill patients admitted to a hospital in Africa die, the report notes, compared to the global average of 31.5.
And the rate could be even higher in lower level hospitals that don’t have critical care units.
“Sadly, it indicates that our ability to provide sufficient care is compromised by a shortage of critical care beds and limited resources within intensive care units,” Prof Biccard, who co-led the research said.
More than 3,000 adults from 10 African countries took part in the study that focused on 64 hospitals in 10 countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and South Africa.
The study found that between May and December last year, half of the participants died without being given oxygen and another 10% did not receive kidney treatment.
Africa has recorded more than 120,000 Covid-19 deaths, accounting for about 4 % of global covid deaths.
The World Health Organization this month also issued a grim warning that the second year of COVID-19 was set to be “far more deadly”, as Japan extended a state of emergency amid growing calls for the Olympics to be scrapped.
“We’re on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The pandemic has however killed at least 3,346,813 people worldwide since the virus first emerged in late 2019.