Why’s COVID Sparing Africa? Japanese Scientists Attempt to Answer World’s Trickiest Medical Puzzle

Coronavirus pandemic spread. Infected Earth continents. COVID-19 microbes impact zone over world map 3d rendering.
Lazy eyes listen


It’s not news that COVID-19, the Wuhan virus that has devastated the world, health and economy-wise, has notably spared Africa. The continent with its nearly 1.4 billion people has had the lowest case and death-rate of any. The continent has so far been spared through the first, second, and now Delta waves of the pandemic.

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation predicted disaster in the developing world, but so far she has been dead wrong, at least as far as Africa is concerned.

According to Northwestern University,

“Africa represents 12.5 percent of the global population, but it accounted for just 4 percent of the 3.4 million deaths that had been reported around the world as of May 18… Predictions that Africa would suffer catastrophically were based on beliefs that the continent would be vulnerable to poverty, unsanitary living conditions…”

Many have suspected sunlight, but Brazil, India, California and other sun-flooded regions cast doubt in that theory. Others have attributed it to childhood BCG vaccine use, current use of hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin upon the first signs of infection and other peculiarities.

Certain parts of Africa, especially in the central and western regions have had it even better with only occasional reports of deaths. Nigeria, the largest black nation and the nation with the largest number of poor people in the world, with its shabby health services, still reports single digit deaths. In comparison, Nigeria with a 211 million populace, about 2/3rds the US population, has had under 2500 reported deaths compared to the US’s 650,000!

While Europe was put on a travel ban to the US, because of the low positive rate, most of Africans could still visit. The reason for the relatively sparse infection and mortality rate in Africa has puzzled the thinking world since the pandemic officially began in 2019.

Japanese Scientists Give Their Answer

Well some Japanese scientists have decided to tackle the question, loudly being ignored by world health bodies and the mainstream media. Ivermectin. Team Hisaya Tanioka et al. from Tanioka Clinic, Bunkyo-Ku and National Institute of Sensory Organs, Tokyo Medical Center, attributed the low infection and death rate in a large part of the tropical continent, to the use of Ivermectin. A World Health Organization essential list drug that has come under increased persecution by the US FDA and CDC.

Via the use of a retrospective study(PDF), Hisaya and team compared the Covid “morbidity, mortality, recovery rate, and fatality rate” in 31 onchocerciasis-endemic countries that commonly used Ivermectin (these countries are on the WHO community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) program) with 22 non-endemic countries where the drug was not in such use.

The CDTI program should be found here on WHO website, however as at the time of this article, the page says “Maintenance” so we had to pull up the last available reference from the “Way Back Machine” internet archive. (The last record archived –which we pulled– was from October 2019)

Image shows current WHO page on CDTI program on “Maintenance” mode and archived image of page with details of the CDTI program

The WHO CDTI program page as in the archive states, “A CDTI project can include up to several hundred communities where community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) is being carried out. These communities can span a state, province or even an entire country.”

The researchers from Japan concluded,

“The morbidity and mortality in the onchocerciasis endemic countries are lesser than those in the non-endemic ones. The community-directed onchocerciasis treatment with ivermectin is the most reasonable explanation for the decrease in morbidity and fatality rate in Africa. In areas where ivermectin is distributed to and used by the entire population, it leads to a significant reduction in mortality.”

Ivermectin countries vs Non-Ivermectin countries, graph

The FDA and US CDC have recently embarked on a campaign to malign this WHO essential list anti-parasitic medication, seemingly due to reported poisoning cases by Americans who have medicated on animal formulas of the ‘safe’ drug, in use since 1981.

It must be noted that the association found in this study is not a confirmation by scientific standards, and such findings prompt further study to rule out other confounders.

Can Ivermectin use be related to the decreased COVID epidemicity in major parts of Africa? Only further studies can confirm. The WHO is currently running studies on the use of certain anti arthritic and anti malaria drugs in the management of Covid. It says Ivermectin should only be used in the context of clinical studies.

The reason why a relatively safe and commonly used medication on the WHO essential medications list, is being maligned, beats understanding. Several reviews of studies have found this medication to be useful in preventing and managing Covid. And US judges continue to overrule hospital managements that disallow patients its use.

Related Review

Clip from study: Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19; Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088823/