The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa extracted huge health, social, and economic costs. How can lessons learnt during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa help to mitigate the likelihood of a long-term devastating effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on the African continent? Despite COVID-19 spreading quickly across the globe after being first reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, African countries remained relatively unaffected until the second week of March 2020. The majority of Africa countries have been at low to moderate risk. However, they have experienced many sociocultural, economic, political, and structural challenges. These have included laboratory capacity and logistical challenges; ill-equipped public health systems; land border permeability, and delayed preparedness to transnational threats; and abject economic deprivation, lack of basic infrastructure, and associated sociocultural implications. There needs to be a strong country-level leadership to coordinate and own all aspects of the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in a collaborative, transparent, and accountable way. Strategic and sustained response plans to fight the pandemic should incorporate culturally competent strategies that harness different cultural practices and strengthen cultural security. They should also promote and strengthen the implementation of the International Health Regulations.
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