Africa University graduate Vincent Yohanna (Nigeria) is passionate about advancing the efficient and accurate testing of Malaria in the most vulnerable areas of Africa, especially during the COVID- 19 Pandemic which combined with one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, bears devastating repercussions for public health. According to the WHO, the African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global Malaria burden. In 2018, the region was home to 93% of malaria cases and 94% of Malaria deaths. The disease is heavy on the continent and greatly impacts national economies, livelihoods and incomes in already financially strained households.
Serving as a Global United Methodist Fellow at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital (GUMH) in Liberia, Vincent said of the dilemma, “As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly around the globe, there is an urgent need to tackle the Novel Corona Virus while ensuring that other killer diseases such as Malaria are not neglected. As the COVID- 19 Pandemic continues to spread throughout Liberia, widespread phobia of the Virus is preventing people from seeking medical care. This tends to compound the issue at hand.”
Seeking out means through which he and the medical team at GUMH can encourage the community to come forward for treatment- education, community outreach and engagement at the grassroots level have proven effective . He said, ” Our facility is open to serve the people within
and around Ganta. We have a wonderful , united team who work round clock and are selfless in looking after the health of the community.”
Vincent’s passion for disease tracking and identification began at Africa University as he studied Medical Laboratory Sciences, successfully graduating in June 2019. Using the skills he learned during the course of his degree, Vincent has gone on to assist in the roll out of testing and monitoring of Malaria infections in the community.