Africa must plan for global pandemics
Planning for the possibility of a pandemic is necessary to safeguard the health of the nation and the continent, writes Morena Makhoana
The Titanic had enough lifeboats to accommodate fewer than half of the people on board. It doesn’t take much to imagine the scale of that horror: the remaining men on board shoving, pushing and fighting to get into that last lifeboat as the ship listed. Such is the human condition. When your life is on the line, the primordial response is to do anything to save your loved ones and yourself first. Now hold that thought and consider a devastating global infectious disease and the same primordial response at a macro level — every country, rightly so, fending for their own first. One effective weapon that will surely be used will be a vaccine to prevent further transmission. But will there be enough lifeboats for all 7-billion people on Earth? There is no doubt that self-preserving nationalistic tendencies would kick in even before a pandemic was officially declared. Everyone else would simply have to wait in the hope they were high enough in the order of priority of those that not only...