COVID-19 Research Alliance - 'Comorbidity and COVID-19: The Double Disease Burden in Africa'
Date & Time:
22nd Jul 2020
12:00pm WedAdd to calendar
London, UKView on maps
Event One of Three
Whilst many countries on the continent grapple with a uniquely broad range of public health challenges - incorporating infectious diseases as well as the growing prevalence of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCD) - comorbidity and comortality remain relatively under-explored research areas in Africa.
The arrival of COVID-19 adds an additional layer of complexity, underlying the importance of interconnecting strategies for coordinating research, analysing data and developing treatment pathways.
And there is a lot to learn. Globally, whilst the overall fatality rate is low, COVID-19 has revealed the particular vulnerability of older adults and those with underlying conditions. In Europe for example, the majority (96%) of patients who have died from COVID-19 had comorbidities, primarily NCDs, such as hypertension (69%), type 2 diabetes (31%), heart disease (28%) and cancer (16%).
Fortunately, there is a growing body of research specific to Africa. This includes research to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on malaria in Uganda and research exploring the effects of the disease on HIV and tuberculosis patients in South Africa.
But much more needs to be done. In this first event of the Research Alliance series, we spotlight the experts combining forces and helping us navigate this unique and complex public health landscape.
The COVID-19 Research Alliance
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven itself to be the most complex and multifaceted challenge humanity has faced in living memory.
On the continent, it has forced healthcare systems to the brink of collapse, disrupted the education of nearly 400 million young Africans and threatened agriculture and food supply systems with an estimated 20% drop in productivity. All of this has helped usher in the deepest global recession since world war two, threatening lives and livelihoods from Cairo to Cape Town.
Addressing the challenges that COVID-19 has presented will require unprecedented levels of regional and international collaboration.
That’s why Bobab and Medixus have teamed up again to deliver a new online event series, this time focusing on the crucial role of interdisciplinary research in the fight against COVID-19; we call it the COVID-19 Research Alliance.
Over the course of three webinars, we’ll bring together diverse groups of academics and researchers, business and charity leaders, policy makers and government representatives to debate the issues, promote innovative solutions and showcase exciting research collaborations striving to understand the defining challenge of our time.
And we’ll be covering a range of interdisciplinary research topics. These include exploring the under-theorised interface between so-called ‘hard’ medical sciences and ‘soft’ social sciences; showcasing world-leading African researchers contributing to our understanding of COVID-19 comorbidities with both communicable and non-communicable diseases; and we’ll be asking what can Africa teach the rest of the world about successfully leveraging existing infectious disease research and response infrastructure.