Western Cape Government Disaster Management Advisory Forum holds third COVID-19 Pandemic webinar
The Western Cape Government Disaster Management Advisory Forum held its third COVID-19 Pandemic webinar themed ‘A united fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preventing another wave in Africa’ on Wednesday, 26 May 2021, with the goal to benchmark key lessons learnt, forge future collaborations and foster unity. Speakers included the National Disaster Management Centre’s (NDMC) Moddy Radikonyana, chief director, Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Building Intervention and Dr Solomon Woldetsadik, project manager World Health Organisation (WHO) in Africa. The event was facilitated by Jacqueline Pandaram, director disaster operations, Western Cape Disaster Management Centre with a key note address from Graham Paulse, head of Western Cape Government: Department Local Government and final remarks delivered by Colin Deiner, head of centre: Western Cape Disaster Management Centre.
Western Cape Government’s Graham Paulse said in his key note address, “COVID-19 has highlighted our human weaknesses but it also highlighted our human brilliance and resilience. Countries have implemented astonishing innovative projects such as:
• Establishing field hospitals overnight
• Rapidly developing and deploying tests and personal protective equipment
• Clinical procedures
• Scientific breakthroughs such as COVID-19 vaccines
• Technological improvements such as tracking and tracing cases
• Bold leadership in decision-making, policy formation and interventions to stop the spread of the virus as well as promote economic recovery.”
The NDMC’s Moddy Radikonyana discussed South Africa’s COVID-19 coordination and response, citing South Africa’s repurposed funding, the challenges experienced, prevention strategies, the Coronavirus Prevention Toolbox, swift easing of the lockdown to encourage economic activity, communication strategies, law enforcement interventions and the vaccination roll-out strategy.
WHO’s Dr Solomon Woldetsadik shared the public health emergencies statistics during 2020 of which 89 percent were disease outbreaks, it is projected that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a $2,5 trillion financing gap in developing countries. Dr Woldetsadik shared the WHO AFRO region capacity to mitigate the impact of public health emergencies and the methods used in the fight against COVID-19, adding that the pandemic has exposed the global disparities and in-equalities in Africa.
A comprehensive review of the webinar will be flighted in the next edition of the Disaster Management Journal.
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