COVID-19 cases have steadily increased since November 2020. Top five countries with the highest confirmed cases include Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal.
This is the second wave of the pandemic in the region, with more than 150,000 additional cases reported from mid-November 2020 to the end of January 2021; almost half of the total cases reported over an eight-month period, between March and October 2020. Deaths related to COVID-19 are also on the rise.
Following the availability of WHO-licensed vaccines, countries are working to begin vaccinations as soon as possible.
The pandemic has taken a toll on health services and could exacerbate other existing vulnerabilities in the health sector and beyond. WHO has called for greater access to COVID-19 detection, testing and care among vulnerable populations, particularly those grappling with the impacts of protracted conflict and humanitarian emergencies across Africa.
UNFPA has adapted its programmes, including through acquiring PPE and spreading pandemic awareness and preventive measures, especially through adolescents and young people. UNFPA interventions are focused on supporting the continuity of SRH services, including protection of health workers, and addressing gender-based violence. Special focus is placed on reaching vulnerable groups and providing integrated care to pregnant women, prenatal monitoring and delivery.