1. bookVolume 3 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)
Journal Details
First Published
30 Sep 2018
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
access type Open Access

Culture, health and well-being sit in places. Impact of COVID-19 on the African Society: geo-anthropological perspectives

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 3 (2020) - Issue 2 (December 2020)
Page range: 65 - 103
Journal Details
First Published
30 Sep 2018
Publication timeframe
1 time per year

Through an interdisciplinary contribution, the authors intend to propose an updated framework of the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent and some critical reflections on various geopolitical and geo-anthropological aspects concerning the new vulnerabilities associated with the pandemic crisis in Africa and the importance of culture and its effects on well-being and health.

The pandemic seems to have hit the African continent much less severely than the rest of the world, with a mortality index (2,4%) lower than the global one (3,5%). The spread of the virus in this geographical area is largely underestimated because health care facilities do not have the tracking power that rich countries have, several factors show how Africa is managing to counter the impact of the pandemic. One reason could be the intervention of the immune capacity of a population exposed in the recent past to numerous other infections that could have stimulated greater protection, both in terms of innate and acquired immunity. The dispersion of the rural population, which represents the majority of the African population (43%), could act as a geographical barrier to the virus. It is a complex picture where there are feelings of distrust between the institutions and the population on the management of the pandemic and the circulation of an excessive amount of data that creates confusion. In the African context, the need to understand the relationship between culture and health becomes fundamental. If the role of cultural values is underestimated, the positive potential of culture as a critical element for maintaining and improving health is negated. According to the World Health Organization, traditional medicine is the cornerstone of health care or its complement in the countries where community membership is most deeply rooted. In Africa, the World Health Organisation estimates that 85% of the population uses it because it is more widespread and accessible than traditional healing systems.

Only one form of contagion travels faster than a virus. And that’s fear. Dan Brown


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