Last week, protesters in Abidjan destroyed a sample collection center under construction, believing it would bring the virus into their neighborhood.
Rabat – Ivorian football star Didier Drogba has offered Cote d’Ivoire the use of his foundation’s hospital in Abidjan as a screening center for the coronavirus.
Drogba, a Roman Catholic, offered the hospital to the mayor of Abidjan, Vincent Toh Bi Irie, on Easter Sunday, April 12. Irie thanked Drogba for his “patriotic gesture.”
The hospital is part of the former Chelsea star’s Didier Drogba Foundation, which works “to provide financial and material support in both health and education to people across Africa.”
Cote d’Ivoire has confirmed 574 cases of the coronavirus since detecting its first positive case one month ago. So far, the death toll from COVID-19 is only five.
Just one week ago, protesters in the Yopougon district of Abidjan destroyed a sample collection center that was under construction. The district’s residents expressed fears that a testing center in their neighborhood would expose them to the virus.
Drogba’s Laurent Pokou Hospital is located in the working class neighborhood of Attecoube in Abidjan.
Cote d’Ivoire plans to implement 13 “collection centers” to take samples for COVID-19 tests in Abidjan alone.
It is not clear if Laurent Pokou Hospital will also treat coronavirus patients or only act as a testing facility. “It is up to the State to make [the establishment] functional,” said the director of the Drogba foundation, Mariam Breka.
Fewer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa
The worst-affected country in Africa continues to be South Africa, with 2,173 confirmed cases and 25 deaths.
However, countries in North Africa have reported far more coronavirus deaths. In Algeria, which has 1,914 confirmed cases, the death toll is 293. Egypt has a death toll of 159 with 2,065 total cases. In Morocco, the death toll is 120 with a total case number of 1,746.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa have not yet reported high numbers of deaths. Cameroon, which has the second highest number of cases in sub-Saharan Africa at 820, has only recorded 12 deaths.