The Centers for Disease Control has issued travel advisories for Americans considering traveling to Zambia and Zimbabwe where Bread and Water for Africa® partners the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre and the Lerato Children’s Village, respectively, operate.
Of course, we doubt that many Americans are planning on traveling to those two countries any time soon, it is worth noting that the CDC has given them it’s highest ranking, Level 4, meaning very high risk, and states “Travelers should avoid all travel to” Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As of February 1, the number of confirmed cases in Zambia is more than 56,000 with nearly 800 deaths, and more than 33,000 cases, and more than 1,200 deaths in Zimbabwe.
While those numbers may seem minuscule compared with other countries around in the world — including the United States — they are deceptively low.
For example, The Financial Times reported January 31 that “Covid deaths in Africa higher than official count, Zambia study suggests” which states, “A study of corpses in a Zambian morgue suggests that deaths from Covid-19 may have been routinely undercounted in the country, and by extension possibly elsewhere in Africa, challenging the view that the continent has avoided the worst effects of the pandemic.”
According to official records, just over 90,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Africa, which equates to about 4 percent of the global death toll in a continent that makes up 17 percent of the world’s population.
While several explanations have been advanced for Covid’s apparently low impact, including the continent’s youthful population, research by the Boston University School of Public Health suggests “that many Covid deaths simply have not been registered” casting doubt on the view that the coronavirus has “somehow skipped” Africa, reports the Financial Times.
“If our data are generalizable, the impact of Covid-19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated,” the authors of the study wrote.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we are well aware of the devastating impacts the pandemic has had — and is having — on our partners there who are struggling with skyrocketing inflation causing prices for basic food staples to increase on practically a daily basis, making it a challenge to keep the orphans and abandoned children in their care fed.
But thanks to our supporters, we have been able to provide emergency funding for food to Kabwata and Lerato necessary not only to keep them from going hungry, but also safe and healthy and protect them from this unseen, and deadly, virus.