Responding to COVID-19 in African Countries

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact societies, not only in terms of health, but also social and economic conditions and day-to-day life.

Ipsos conducted public opinion polls on behalf of the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC), a consortium of global public health organisations and private sector firms. PERC was created in March 2020 with the objective of providing African Union Member States with real-time information and guidance to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the continent.

The polling was conducted in 18 African Union Member States to understand the public’s knowledge, risk perception, attitudes, access to information, reactions, behaviours and practices related to COVID-19.

Key findings in Uganda:

  1. Support and adherence for personal Public Health and Social Measures (PHSMs): Compared to other African Union Member States, respondents in Uganda report a level of support and adherence to PHSMs that is higher, on average. Satisfaction with the government response was also higher.
  2. Risk perceptions and information: Despite having one of the lowest incidences in Africa, personal risk perception in Uganda is similar to most other AU Member States, and for some measures, even higher. Still, widespread belief in misinformation narratives exist, with almost half of respondents agreeing that people recovered from COVID 19 should be avoided and more than half that foreigners are trying to test vaccines on them.
  3. Essential health services: Of respondents that reported someone in their household needed medical care, more than half had difficulty accessing health care services or medicines. Those with longstanding illnesses were particularly affected. The findings suggest that the indirect health impact of the epidemic are considerable, with significant disruptions to suspected malaria cases, general/routine checkups, maternal and child health care and HIV treatment.
  4. Economic burden and food security: A majority of respondents report having lost income and many are facing difficulty accessing food, with almost nine of ten reporting their household income has fallen since last year and more than half reporting loss of income affected their access to food. Food insecurity was highest among low income households.

This Executive Summary is supplemented by the Data Deck with the full set of data.

Access first wave findings