The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting lives and exposing weaknesses in health systems across the globe. The importance of health governance in delivering proper and effective services worldwide cannot be overemphasized. It has become apparent that the old ways - vertical and centralized methods of governance - of leadership are not the most effective during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, there is a need for newer and more innovative methods - collective action and adaptation to change - of ensuring that healthcare can be delivered effectively amid the ongoing chaos and ambiguity.
NGOs have also successfully mitigated the effects of the pandemic by introducing/ incorporating healthy behaviors into public messages (washing of hands and social distancing), spearheading advocacy efforts, and serving as the link between the local communities and bilateral/multilateral donors. These coordinated efforts have helped in reducing the spread of virus which has led to lower morbidity rates. Furthermore, Africa has been able to escape the heavy impact of the pandemic due to its adherence to isolation measures coupled with preventive guidelines, public mandates, and bans on domestic/international travel. This paper seeks to explore why effective health governance is important during the pandemic, the roles of NGOs, and lessons learnt thus far.