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 Senegal:

  1. Support and adherence for personal Public Health and Social Measures (PHSMs): Both support and self reported adherence are high for personal preventive measures such as washing hands, and 95% of respondents in Senegal report wearing a face mask in the previous week. However, support and self reported adherence are lower for measures that restrict economic activity, such as staying home or reducing trips to the market, as well as for avoiding places of worship. Dissatisfaction with the government response is higher among survey respondents in Senegal than other African Union (AU) Member States surveyed, with fewer than one in five saying they are very satisfied.
  2. Risk perceptions and information: Only one third respondents in Senegal believe they are at high or very high risk for contracting COVID 19, and perceptions of disease severity are low compared to the average across African Union (AU) Member States surveyed. Close to half believe rumors or myths about foreign interference.
  3. Essential health services: A substantial proportion of respondents in Senegal who needed medical care have had difficulty accessing health care visits (22%) or medicines (37%) during the COVID 19 crisis, and those with longstanding health issues are particularly affected.
  4. Economic burden and food security: A majority of respondents (68%) report having lost income since last year, and many are facing difficulty accessing food. However, almost two thirds of respondents report receiving aid from the government in the past month, the highest proportion across all AU Member States surveyed.

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

Access first wave findings