2-4 Million Direct and Indirect COVID Deaths Are Not Being Counted in Africa

Only eight African countries record their dead which means there are no good tracking of COVID or any other cause of death. Only Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles and Mauritius functioning, compulsory and universal civil registration systems (CRVS systems) which record deaths.

The other countries have paper-based systems which are used for some local services.

It is impossible to calculate “excess deaths” because of the lack of national digital records.

The medical and health systems are poor which results in high infant and maternal mortality. It also means that diseases are often not diagnosed or treated.

More Indirect Deaths than COVID Deaths

There is likely indirect COVID deaths and COVID deaths that are missed. The pandemic can overstretch health systems, fear of attending hospital and an economic downturn. A Lancet study across 118 low-income and middle-income countries estimated that the continued disruption of health systems from Covid-19 could result in 1,157,000 additional child deaths and 56,700 additional maternal deaths.

South Africa had recorded nearly 138,000 excess deaths since the pandemic began – that is almost three times the official figure given for Covid-19 deaths.

If COVID is hitting other countries in Africa the same as it is hitting South Africa then there are over 1 million COVID deaths and 3 million indirect deaths caused by COVID’s impact on health systems.

A more conservative estimate of uncounted COVID deaths in Africa is 0.5 million. The Lancet estimation of high infant and maternal mortality combined with missing COVID deaths and other indirect deaths sets an alternative estimate of 1.5 million indirect deaths in Africa.

Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com