Covid-19: Africa Suffering From Substantial Economic & Health Harms

As the world battles new COVID-19 variants and supply of vaccines remains critically low in Africa, African Union Member States must find the balance between minimizing threats from COVID-19 and the indirect burdens of public health measures, including income loss, food insecurity, and disrupted access to essential medical services.

New findings from a Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC) report show that these problems remain substantial across the African continent: 81% of respondents reported challenges accessing food, 77% reported experiencing income loss and 42% reported missing medical visits. The report calls for targeted public health measures for high-risk populations, increased surveillance in light of new variants and scaled-up vaccine supply from the global community to control the pandemic in Africa.

The findings are based on a new survey of over 24,000 adults in 19 African Union Member States, conducted by the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC). In its new regional report—the third in a series on “Using Data to Find a Balance”—PERC analyzes public opinion survey responses along with social, economic, and epidemiological data, and offers recommendations for governments as they navigate the ongoing pandemic.

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