The third survey by the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC) has established that 80 per cent of Ghanaians are satisfied with the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
The survey suggested that the country was above the regional average of 78 per cent although it had dropped by six percentage points as recorded by the second survey conducted in August 2020.
The report, however, revealed that income loss and problems with food access were severe in almost all African Union (AU) member states and had largely worsened since August.
“Income loss and food access are severe, and about 77 per cent of households have lost all or some of their income since the beginning of the pandemic (62 per cent some, 15 per cent all) on the continent,” the Public Affairs Director for sub-Saharan Africa of IPSOS, Virginia Nkwanzi Isingoma, said.
IPSOS is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.
“Within the member states, about 81 per cent of households have experienced at least one barrier to food access in the past week. That there is a need for African governments to address the socio-economic burdens on citizens by initiating people-centred policies and ensure food security on the continent,” she added.
PERC thus recommended targeted food distress interventions, introduction/extension of community-based social protection programmes, lowering of barriers to access healthcare facilities, rapid scaling up of primary healthcare mobile clinics and community health worker programmes.
PERC is a public-private partnership that supports evidence-based measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on African Union member states.
It is a consortium made up of public health organisations comprising the Africa Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, Resolve to Save Lives (an initiative of Vital Strategies), the World Health Organisation, the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, and the World Economic Forum and private sector firms.
PERC had earlier published two quarterly regional reports, Part I in May 2020 and Part II in September 2020.
The latest report further said the same percentage of Ghanaians was satisfied with the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in mitigating the impact of the global pandemic in the country.
At a webinar organised by the consortium for journalists, the Associate Director of Communications at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Mr Rolf Rosenkranz, said the survey intended to uncover the form and extent on the secondary burden of the global pandemic on people and nations, particularly in the area of access to health care, food and employment.
The Global Health Advocacy Incubator is home to a team of leading experts with hands-on experience directing successful policy advocacy campaigns around the world, with expertise spanning health policy issues and cross disciplines to deliver policy change that saves lives.
“This online seminar featuring panellists from Ipsos, Columbia University and the Ghana Health Service is designed for journalists to learn how to use data compiled by PERC accurately and effectively,” he said.
He said it contained information on the anticipated vaccine uptake and adherence to the safety protocols over the past year, and how to boost COVID-19 response.
“These briefs are intended for use not only by high level decision makers, but by journalists reporting on the ongoing pandemic. Journalists have a powerful role in disseminating information about COVID-19 to the public,” he said.
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The Director of the Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Dacosta Aboagye, said satisfaction with the government’s response was high in Ghana, on par with the regional average.
He said public trust in government and institutions was a key driver of the high adherence to the public health safety protocols in the national COVID-19 response that had contributed to the decline of cases in the country.
Dr Aboagye said self-reported adherence to social measures decreased by 10 percentage points since August 2020, driven by a 13-percentage point drop in adherence to avoiding places of worship.
“What the data say amidst a highly publicised COVID-19 outbreak that shut down Parliament, and coming off a presidential election in December, respondents in Ghana still reported high levels of trust in the government and public health institutions,” he said.
He said among international institutions, the World Health Organisation was the most trusted.