Non-communicable disease prevention and treatment services have been severely disrupted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main causes of disruption have been the cancellation of planned salaries, reduction of public transport and lack of staff. In a fifth of countries reporting disruptions, the primary reason is a lack of medicines, diagnostic products and other technologies1.
The search for a solution to combat COVID-19 is booming. Approaches so far have included herbal medicine, a vaccine, and the controversial use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. Global clinical vaccine trials are underway, with the first results expected by the end of June.
In order to access any potential future cures or vaccines for COVID-19 when they become available, the health supply chain in West Africa needs to be assessed and continually strengthened.