CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Endosc Int Open 2020; 08(08): E1097-E1101
DOI: 10.1055/a-1210-4274
Original article

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gastrointestinal endoscopy in Africa

Alanna Ebigbo
 1   Department of Gastroenterology, Universitätsklinikum Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
John Gásdal Karstensen
 2   Gastrounit, Hvidovre Hospital Dept of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen
Purnima Bhat
 3   Australian National University School of Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Uchenna Ijoma
 1   Department of Gastroenterology, Universitätsklinikum Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
Chukwuemeka Osuagwu
 4   Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
Hailemichael Desalegn
 5   Department of Internal Medicine, St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ganiyat K. Oyeleke
 6   Department of Internal Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
Rezene B. Gebru
 7   Department of Internal Medicine, Black lion Specialized Tertiary Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Claire Guy
 8   European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Secretariat, Hamilton Services GmbH, Munich, Germany
Giulio Antonelli
 9   Endoscopy Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Sant'Andrea, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Peter Vilmann
 2   Gastrounit, Hvidovre Hospital Dept of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen
Lars Aabakken
10   Dept of transplantation medicine, Oslo University Hospital – Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway and Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
Cesare Hassan
11   Endoscopy Unit, Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital, Rome, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Background and study aims As with all other fields of medical practice, gastrointestinal endoscopy has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, data on the impact of the pandemic in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa are lacking.

Methods A web-based survey was conducted by the International Working Group of the European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the World Endoscopy Organization to determine the impact and effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on endoscopists in African countries.

Results Thirty-one gastroenterologists from 14 countries in north, central, and sub-Saharan Africa responded to the survey. The majority of respondents reduced their endoscopy volume considerably. Personal protective equipment including FFP-2 masks were available in almost all participating centers. Pre-endoscopy screening was performed as well.

Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on gastrointestinal endoscopy in most African countries; however, the impact may not have been as devastating as expected.

Supplementary material

Publication History

Received: 05 June 2020

Accepted: 24 June 2020

Article published online:
07 August 2020

© 2020. Owner and Copyright ©

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York