Countries like South Africa, Kenya and Egypt may re-emerge in a strong position post Covid-19, especially as the international tourism market reopens to cater for the great global thirst for post-lockdown travel.
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This is according to Dr Alex Coutinho, a physician and global health consultant and speaker at this year’s Africa Health Conference on the future of healthcare post-Covid-19.
“Nations with high vaccination rates as well as reliable and high-quality health infrastructure in place, will likely encourage international visitors, without the need for quarantine on arrival, and assurance of top level critical care in the event it is needed,” he says.
“Looking into the future, countries like Kenya and Rwanda look poised to adapt quickly, having taken learnings from countries like South Africa and Mauritius on how best to survive the epidemic, shift focus into economic recovery and into their public and private health systems,” he adds.
Investment into the global South
With the realisation that the economic costs of a pandemic far outweigh the costs of investment into research, vaccines, therapeutics, and non-medical disease control strategies, many authorities feel that the Covid-19 crisis may mean increased investments in these areas in the global South.
Given the need to ensure stable supply chains, some experts have also suggested that an increase in domestic manufacture of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies is likely and necessary.
Other experts worry, however, that the future will herald worsening structural inequality as a result of Covid-19, as nations under pressure cut back on international aid, and prioritise their own economic survival.
In some places the pandemic and its after-effects threaten to stall or reverse development gains achieved thus far.
The current pandemic has highlighted the disproportionate burden of infection borne by vulnerable and marginalised groups.