Published: July 23rd 2020


Public Health

Event Summary: ‘Comorbidities and COVID-19: The Double Disease Burden in Africa’

Published: July 23rd 2020

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.



Building on the success of the COVID-19 Exchange series held in May, Bobab and Medixus have combined forces again to design and host a brand new series called the COVID-19 Research Alliance. Over the course of three high-level webinars, we aim to promote the significance of intra-African and interdisciplinary research collaborations in the fight against COVID-19

The first event took place on Wednesday 22nd July. Entitled Comorbidities and COVID-19: The Double Disease Burden in Africa we brought together a fantastic panel of expert speakers to present on a variety of topics. Our panel included:

Dr. Ahmed Goha - Consultant Cardiologist, The Heart Institute of the Carribean (Egypt)

Dr. Sizulu Moyo - Research Director, Human Science Research Council (South Africa)

Dr. Geoffrey Siwo - Assistant Research Professor, The University of Notre Dame (USA)

Dr. Adeoluwa Adeniji - Consultant Oncologist, Lakeshore Cancer Centre (Nigeria)

Dr. Nicola Bulled - Public Health Anthropologist, Independent Consultant (USA)

Event Overview

Dr. Robert Karanja (Co-founder, Villgro, Kenya) chaired an excellent discussion which included Dr. Goha sharing his considerable insights on the impact of COVID-19 on treatment of cardiac patients.

Dr. Sizulu provided a fascinating overview which included insights on both infectious diseases such as HIV and TB, as well as non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

This was followed by a fascinating presentation by Dr. Geoffrey Siwo, focusing on the interconnectedness of biology and how it accelerates solutions to COVID-19.

Next we heard from Dr. Adeoluwa Adeniji who highlighted some of the innovative steps he and his colleagues have taken to try to ensure continuity of care for cancer patients during the pandemic. 

And our final speaker was Dr. Nicola Bulled who introduced us to the concept of COVID-19 syndemics, an aggregation of two or more health and social conditions that interact synergistically, highlighting the social conditions that are an essential dimension of the disease cluster arrangement. 

A full recording of the event will be available on the event page soon and the speakers presentations can be viewed here:

Dr. Ahmed Goha - View presentation here

Dr. Sizulu Moyo - View presentation here

Dr. Geoffrey Siwo - View presentation here

Dr. Adeoluwa Adeniji - View presentation here

Dr. Nicola Bulled - View presentation here

Upcoming Events

This was the first event in a series of three. The next event will take place on Wednesday 29th July at 1.00pm UK time (2.00pm Central African Time / 3.00pm East African Time). Click on the links below to register.

Event 2 - Wednesday 29th July: ‘One Size Fits All? Incorporating Social Sciences in Holistic Approaches to Tackling COVID-19’

Event 3 - Wednesday 5th August: ‘Doing More with Less: The African Example’