Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, global director of ICAP, wrote an op-ed in South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper on Sept 3 on the importance of public health. The op-ed was based on a keynote address Dr. El-Sadr gave at a special symposium titled Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in Africa, jointly hosted by the Center for Pandemic Research, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University, New York City, and the Faculty of Health Scientists, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
“There is increasing evidence that mitigation measures put in place, such as movement restrictions, mask-wearing and physical distancing, have been making a difference in some epidemic hotspots. Eventually, successful treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 will be developed. However, until then, it is public health that is limiting the damage, flattening the epidemic curve, and buying us the precious time we need to understand this virus and how to tackle it.”