I Lost My Uncle To COVID-19- Larry Madowo

Larry was sharing on the state of vaccination in the African continent in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, July 21.

I Lost My Uncle To COVID-19- Larry Madowo

Nairobi-based CNN correspondent Larry Madowo has for the first time opened up on how the COVID-19 virus has affected his family. 

Larry was sharing on the state of vaccination in the African continent in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, July 21. He further revealed that he lost his uncle to the virus and for the last four weeks, his 96-year-old grandmother has been on a ventilator. 

“I had just finished filming at a crammed ICU treating critical COVID-19 patients in Uganda's capital of Kampala last month when I learned that my uncle Justus had himself died of the virus across the border in Kenya. I was heartbroken, and angry. 

An Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine getting ready to be administered in Kenya. /CNN

"He was not vaccinated because Kenya didn't -- and still does not -- have enough shots even for a senior like him,” he revealed. 

Madowo added that each time he notices a call coming from his home, his heart sinks out of the fear of the announcement that his grandmother passed on. According to him, she has been on a ventilator for four weeks, a dreary feat that has pushed his anxiety to breaking point. 

“The dreaded call could come at any time: COVID-19. Again,” he added. 

Because of the government's stringent COVID-19 protocols, his uncle Justus was buried within 48 hours, making him the third person in his family who succumbed to the virus but he did not get a chance to accord them a decent send-off. 

Madowo laid blame on the rich Western countries for hoarding the vaccines. Currently only 1.5 percent of the African population has been vaccinated. 

The celebrated journalist was lucky to get the vaccine because at the time he was in the United States where anybody over the age of 12 can receive the vaccine if they wanted to. 

“The acute shortage of doses for the world's poorest people has been called "vaccine apartheid," "greed" and a "catastrophic moral failure." Yet the public shaming has made little real difference, and Africa has received the fewest vaccines in the globe so far. 

"Around half of all Americans are now fully vaccinated. Here in Kenya, that figure stands at just 1.1% of the population," he added. 

While wealthy countries are dropping all restrictions and reopening their societies following the full vaccination on all adults, new cases are rising at the fastest rate ever across Africa, where very few people are vaccinated. 

Larry’s sentiments come at a time when the surge of COVID-19 has been reported in the Africa continent. 

While addressing the nation at State House on Tuesday, June 29, President Uhuru Kenyatta promised that his government had intended on vaccinating the entire adult population of 26 million Kenyans by 2022.

"In fact, by Christmas this year, we intend to have vaccinated over 10 million adults. According to our experts, we will have built a capacity to vaccinate 150,000 people every day from August 2021," he declared.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on June 29, 2021. /PSCU