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COVID-19 in Africa: Healthcare, Panic, Townships & the Gospel

The current Coronavirus crisis is not simple. It is not straight-forward and obvious how we should behave or react. Dr Khuliso Ramashia breaks into bite-sized chunks the key facts that Christians need to know about COVID-19 in Africa. For without such knowledge how can we judge what a wise course of action is?

He urges us to think of others. Think especially those who don’t have the luxury of running water, private healthcare and large houses in which to self-isolate. We must not panic or horde selfishly. Above all, as Christians we need to remember that while Cronavirus is shaped as a crown – the true king, Jesus Christ, must still reign in our lives.

Unique Challenges of COVID-19 in Africa

We have to be sensitive to the unique challenges presented by COVID-19 in Africa.

The Existing Burden of Disease

“We need to be aware of our context. So like I mentioned there’s the Western world, or the first world, and there is where we live. And our burden of disease – particularly in South Africa – is already quite high. And we have got a number of categories that form this burden of disease.

We’ve already got a very big burden of disease as a society… Yet we can’t ignore this new thing

So diseases of lifestyle: things like high blood pressure, diabetes. We’ve got infectious disease that already exists: things like pneumonia, diarrhoea. We’ve got HIV and AIDS which causes people to be immunocompromised. And associated with that we have TB. And the forth aspect we have trauma. People are in car accidents every day, getting stabbed, etc. So we’ve already got a very big burden as a society. And I think it’s not… You see we are stuck in the middle of two situations. On the one hand we can’t ignore this new thing that falls into our burden.”

Caring For the Less Privileged in Society

“At the moment the expression of this disease has been that of a middle-to-upper class type of disease in terms of setting. Where it finds itself. People who have travelled and contacted people who have travelled. So while it still has that character I would encourage Christians who find themselves in those situations to protect people that are around them. Because they have the means.

I would encourage Christian brothers and sisters who are privileged to encourage the people who help them at home to stay at home – and still pay them.

I think this is a time when we need to see our health – our personal health – as… or measure it as the health of the collective. Not necessarily individually. So, if me and the people around me and the community that I can reach are all healthy that mean’s I am healthy. Not just personally.”

For a full transcript of this Podcast on COVID-19 in Africa click the toggle button above.

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