American philanthropist Melinda Gates has expressed worry over the possible effects on Africa of the coronavirus pandemic if and when it fully strikes in the continent as it has done in Asia, Europe and the United States of America.
Melinda Gates, who is the wife of one of the world’s richest men Bill Gates, in a recent CNN interview warned about the crisis facing the African continent. “Covid-19 will be horrible in the developing world”, she said, citing the failed healthcare and social systems in Africa.
For years Bill and Melinda Gates have, through their foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, been doing charity works in Africa and they have become a powerful catalyst for the improvement of lives in the world’s poorest countries.
The foundation’s trust endowment of $43.5bn (£29.5bn) makes grant payments in excess of $3bn every year ($3.9bn in 2014). Its focus has been on bridging the enormous health deficit between rich and poor countries and on fights it sees as vast, but ultimately winnable. Among its goals are the eradication of malaria and polio, and controlling the spread of tuberculosis and HIV.
But it is the Coronavirus disease that currently troubles the heart of Melinda Gates. “My heart is in Africa. I’m worried. The only reason why the reported cases of the coronavirus disease in Africa is low now is most likely because there have not been wide testing of people. The disease is going to bite hard on the continent. I see dead bodies in the streets of Africa,” Mrs. Gates said.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already set out to help tackle the effects of the coronavirus disease in Africa. In a recent article, Bill Gates wrote: “By helping countries in Africa and South Asia get ready now, we can save lives and also slow the global circulation of the virus. (A significant portion of the commitment Melinda and I recently made to help kickstart the global response to COVID-19 – which could total up to $100 million – is focused particularly on developing countries.”