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Ethical, legal and human rights considerations in preparing for future pandemics and human disasters in Africa

Neelam Rahim – neelam@radioislam.co.za

2 minute read
16 September 2022
12:55 pm

Pandemics constitute major public health concerns affecting the entire population, causing widespread human suffering, requiring population-scale behavioural change, and bringing in various new ethical, legal, and medical practice paradigms. A question that needs to be asked is what Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy means for future pandemics.

Professor Sylvester Chima, an authority on informed consent in medicine who specialises in Bio & Research Ethics and Medical Law, discusses with Radio Islam International. Prof Chima also speaks at the upcoming Africa Health Conference in October.

While the pandemic is circulating slowly, it is still claiming lives affected by it. Prof Sylvester said we still need to be prepared for the ongoing pandemic and further pandemics that will be coming up.

“There are new variants that could develop in the future, which is the concern.” 

According to Prof Chima, the lessons learnt from Covid-19 is preparation for the future to combat the pandemic. Public awareness needs to be improved, and the vaccine’s fear should be removed. 

While some people have recovered from the disease, there is the issue of long Covid. According to WHO, around 12 per cent of the people infected have long Covid, which disrupts their lives and affects their mental health. 

Prof Sylvester tells Radio Islam that it is known that viruses can jump from animals into humans. We now know that new viruses are circulating in animals that humans interact with or consume. 

He said we have to ensure that animals consumed are kept in a way where should there be a virus likely to jump to humans, we are aware and prepared for that eventuality.

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Professor Sylvester Chima on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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