Ouaka - General View
The knock-on effects of COVID-19

Low deaths but high impact

Central African Republic (CAR) is one of many African nations where the pandemic did not reach the catastrophic levels predicted. While this is a huge relief, the knock-on effects of COVID-19 on the fragile healthcare system have been considerable. Vaccination and treatment for diseases such as malaria, malnutrition and measles are just a few examples of lifesaving activities that have been forced to reduce. Although the pandemic has not hit as predicted, MSF staff continue to follow the situation closely. Any outbreak could be devastating, especially now that the country is engulfed in renewed violence.

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“We have other diseases that are more widespread in CAR”

Zara works in MSF’s COVID-19 triage unit in Bambari, Central African Republic. Her main concern is how the country’s weak health system and struggling hospitals will manage to respond to COVID-19 at the same time as dealing with so many other medical needs.

Bambari cannot afford a pandemic

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“We’re really struggling to take good care of our patients”

Despite his best efforts, Fidèle, in charge of paediatric triage in Bambari hospital, says it is very difficult to protect his patients from COVID-19 when people have so many other urgent medical needs.