The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says northern Nigeria may likely suffer more from the coronavirus pandemic due to high rate of poverty in the region.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mark Suzman, stated this during a conference call with select African journalists on Thursday.
According to him, Northern Nigeria still stands the highest risk of the spread of COVID-19 due to poverty and its weak primary healthcare system.
Responding to a question on how the coronavirus pandemic could affect northern Nigeria, Suzman said:
“We have worked extensively in the North because it is the poorest part of Nigeria. It does have sort of the weakest overall health infrastructure and facilities and that is also why the region has the highest child and maternal mortality rate.
“Those characteristics are shared by several African countries, including in the region that is comparable to the challenges in the other parts of the Sahel and other parts of the continent.
“I don’t think there is anything sort of specific you call out other than the risks are obviously greater when you do have a very weak, underlying primary healthcare structure and system in place.”