“The death toll has more than tripled. Staff are exhausted.”

Africa is battling a deadly third wave of COVID-19. Countries across the continent have been reporting surges of new cases, hospitalisations, and tragically, deaths, as the Delta variant spreads while more than 98% of the continent still have not been fully vaccinated. 

This week, UK-Med sent an international team of medics from the UK’s Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) to Namibia and Botswana, where they’ll be providing essential front-line response support and expertise in hospitals that are battling the coronavirus pandemic. 

In Namibia, the team of 10 will be led by Elias Pavlopoulosa public health specialist from Greece. The team of ten doctors, nurses and humanitarian healthcare experts land in country today and will be working in the country for the next 6 weeks. 

The Botswana team, which began work this Monday, is led by Eunice Chege, a nurse, epidemiologist and public health specialist from Kenya. Over the next 6 weeks, she will be leading a team of ten doctors, nurses and humanitarian health experts who specialise in emergency medicine, critical care, IPC, RCCE, logistics and public health. 

Team Lead Eunice Chege said:

“Botswana has been experiencing a disastrous third wave. The numbers of patients in health facilities is growing and it’s pushing capacity to the limit. Week on week, the country is seeing an increase in fatalities. In Namibia, the death toll has more than tripled since the start of June. Staff are exhausted.

Our team will deliver specialist training and on the job support to health care teams to manage and treat serious and critically ill patients with COVID-19, and to help protect themselves and prevent the further spread of the virus. All regions of the country have been affected and we will urgently help to bring the pandemic under control.

We are proud and excited to work alongside local healthcare staff and share our own experiences as an international team to train and protect staff, empower the community, and save lives.” 

We’ll post more updates from the team on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) as the responses develop.

We’re grateful to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for UK Aid funding from the British people to fund these important responses.

COVID-19 in Botswana

Botswana has been particularly hard hit in the third wave of COVID.

A third of the country’s total cases have been recorded in July, with the number of deaths rising week on week for the past month.

115,220 total cases (37,010 cases in July)

1653 total deaths (444 in July)

COVID-19 in Namibia

In Namibia, more people died in June 2021 than in all the preceding months since the start of the global pandemic.

total case numbers 119,442 (peak new daily cases 2547 on 24 June)

3064 total deaths (150 reported on 13 July).

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