Coronavirus (648) Policymakers and health misinformation (24) 'Let's party, coronavirus has ended' - Tanzanian official (2)

22 May, 2020

Dear Neil, I read your comments about covid and Tanzania. Few additions:

1) whatever decisions have been taken about the epidemic one should keep in mind that they are political (!) and not medical. In other words the President is leading the agenda. Accept it or not this is the fact.

2) it is not true that hospitals are overwhelmed by admissions or deaths.

3) lockdown in Africa context is not practical, impossible to obtain. Gold rule in public health is: never impose/encourage to the community actions that it wont be able to put in practice.

4) people in Tanzania responded correctly and seriously to the instructions given by their Government: washing hands is obsessively done, masks and human distance are widely practiced, schools closed.

To number 1) I add my personal view: a medical forum as HIFA is, should not engage in political criticism, instead it should stick firmly to medical-epidemiologic considerations. If medical aspects conflict with political decisions one should keep silence and wait: after all written words of denounce won't change the reality in the streets. Moreover it is a paradox that US embassy has criticised the Government of Tanzania. Would they accept the same criticism to Mr. Trump behaviour made by the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington?

In good faith and hope for the future

Massimo

HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He currently works on a volunteer basis in an excellent missionary/credited hospital in north Uganda, St. Mary's Hospital-Lacor-GULU. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT gmail.com