When the Covid situation was improving in Cape Verde, it is sad to learn that there has been a significant spike in numbers. This may have been as result of the Easter celebration, therecent election (campaign and voting) and also the recent public holiday (Labour Day on 1 May). This has resulted in the Government declaring another ‘State of Calamity’. On some islands, such as Maio the figures have started to drop again, but over all the infection rates remain higher than they have been for some weeks. The total number of cases for the country is currently 3,176 and the highest concentration is in Praia on the island of Santiago. This is very sad news for the country just as tourism has started to increase again with regular flights from Poland, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Casablanca, Dakar, Ponta Delgada and Boston.
When the world is concentrating on Covid-19 and the disruption it has caused, it is great to hear good news about another disease. That disease is malaria. Malaria is a serious illness that in extreme cases can be fatal. It is caused by a parasite that infects a particular variety of mosquito, which then feeds on people. Those suffering with this disease can be very ill, with high fever, and flu-like symptoms.
So it is great news to learn that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) seven countries have now eliminated it. Cape Verde is one of the seven with Algeria, Belize, China, El Salvador, Iran, Malaysia and Paraguay. These countries achieved this milestone by the end of 2020 – the aim of the WHO. It is a result of the commitment of governments, good health care together with sound data recording. It is important that these countries maintain their resolve so as to remain malaria free.
Cape Verde is one of only two African countries to achieve this. This should be a great example for other African countries to follow. In Cape Verde both diagnosis and treatment of malaria were provided free. This was to catch the cases coming from mainland Africa. This was not just for residents but for anyone.