Religion & its Discontents: Considerations Around COVID-19 & Africa

Credit: United NationsBy Dr. Azza Karam and Dr. Mustafa Y. AliNEW YORK, May 8 2020 (IPS) COVID-19 has spread to many nations around the world, and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In the global south, the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched the available medical and health resources, triggered economic shocks, and caused social upheavals and insecurity in many countries and localities. While the pandemic has caused huge numbers of infections and deaths in the global north, the consequences in the poorer nations in the global south is acute. Serious challenges arising from responses from authorities to contain the pandemic ranging from hard to soft lockdowns, curfews, limitations in movements, and social distancing, are causing strains in communities. From fragile economies to ill- equipped health facilities and underfunded health programs, to the almost non-existent social security measures that would ordinarily cushion large segments of pupations from falling further into poverty, the impact on many communities in the global south will be grave. While COVID-19 has not had a devastating impact on Africa as it has elsewhere, according to official statistics, we fear that this may change. On the health side, health experts are already warning that the pandemic could yet exact a much heavier death toll in the region if it overwhelms local health services – as has happened in the United States and United Kingdom. There are also concerns that the...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Civil Society Economy & Trade Featured Global Headlines Health Human Rights Humanitarian Emergencies Inequity Religion TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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Religions for Peace Interreligious Council of Albania distributing Covid relief supplies from the Multi-religious Humanitarian Fund. Credit: Erzen CarjaBy Prof. Azza KaramNEW YORK, Aug 4 2020 (IPS) — I have never been interested in religion or spirituality before, but I found myself tuning in to all sorts of on-line religion and spirituality related forums “in search of something.” These are the words of a 30-something single young, middle class man (born into a Protestant-Catholic family background) in a European country. The latter is known more for turning several churches into museums or shopping ce...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Civil Society Featured Global Headlines Health Human Rights Humanitarian Emergencies Inequity Religion TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news
Zororo Makamba wasn’t supposed to die of the novel coronavirus. Not just because of his age, which at 30 placed him well out of the at-risk category for COVID-19 complications, but because of who he was. A well-known, pro-government media personality in Zimbabwe, and the son of a prominent business mogul, Makamba had the wealth and the connections that should have guaranteed him the best care possible. Instead, on March 23, Zimbabwe’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus died alone in a quarantined hospital, three days after his diagnosis. Hospital staff, lacking protective equipment, were afraid to come nea...
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