The World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region’s Technical Officer Dr. Mary Stephen says testing has been challenging from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent.

This comes after the WHO announced that more than 85% of COVID-19 cases in Africa remain undetected.

According to the Health body, six out of every seven coronavirus cases are not being detected in Africa.

So far, only eight million COVID cases have been recorded, but the WHO now estimates that the real figure is 59 million.

Stephen says, “Countries had to develop different testing strategies based on their context and capacities. If you look at the countries in Africa right from the beginning of the pandemic, most of them the testing strategies is still around testing strategies with people, mainly symptomatic. “

“Many countries in Africa ended up being some sort of community testing and if you look at the testing capacity, the recommendation is 10 by 10 000 population. The majority of the countries are defiantly lagging behind in this testing, so yes testing has been a challenge. In addition to this as well the number of asymptomatic cases in the continent is the highest among all the regions. So the majority of the young population we have are either presenting with no symptoms at all or mild symptoms that they don’t think requires any form of testing,” she added.

Below is the full interview: