Responding to COVID-19 in Africa: Using Data to Find a Balance

These findings are based on a new survey of over 24,000 adults in 18 African Union Member States, conducted by the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC).

New York, USA - 21 September 2020 : Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the secondary impacts of the virus on the African continent are undeniable: more than 40% of survey participants in need of health care services reported skipping or delaying care, 70% reported earning less money compared to the same time last year, and 70% reported problems accessing food in the past week. While most respondents favored reopening the economy, adherence to the “3 W’s”—wearing a mask, washing hands, and watching distance from others—remained high, pointing to a way forward for policymakers.  

These findings are based on a new survey of over 24,000 adults in 18 African Union Member States, conducted by the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC). In its new regional report—the second 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.

Join high-level panelists from PERC members Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), IpsosVital Strategies’ Resolve to Save Lives initiative and the World Economic Forum, to discuss key findings and how organizations can identify potential threats, coordinate responses and effectively communicate as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. A Q&A will follow the discussion.

Date: Thursday 24 September

Time: 08:15 – 09:00  EDT // 14:15-15:00 CAT

Language: English

To attend the webinar, please register here.  Speakers: 

  • Dr. John Nkengasong, Head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr. Tom Frieden, American infectious disease and public health physician, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies
  • Dr Zabulon Yoti, Acting Regional Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response Cluster, World Health Organization
  • Natalie Lacey, Chief Operating Officer, Global Affairs, Ipsos
  • Elsie SKanza. Head of the Regional Agenda, Africa; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

Questions: Reporters can share their questions in advance via

** Reporters dialing in via phone will not have access to Zoom’s Q&A feature and therefore must submit questions via


  • James Ayodele, Principal Communication Officer, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Email:; Tel: +251 11 551 7700
  • Collins Boakye-Agyemang, Communications Officer, WHO Regional Office for Africa. Email:; Tel: +4724139420 or +242065206565
  • Christina Honeysett, Director of PR, Vital Strategies. Email:; Tel: +1 914 424 3356
  • Natalie Lacey, Chief Operating Officer, Global Affairs, Ipsos.  Email:; Tel: +14165098460
  • Amanda Russo, Head of Media Content, World Economic Forum. Email:; Tel: +1 415 734 0589

About the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC)

The Partnership for Evidence-based Response to COVID-19 (PERC), a consortium of global public health organizations and private sector firms, was created in March 2020 with the objective of providing AU Member States with real-time information and guidance to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the continent. PERC’s first regional report, Responding to COVID-19 in Africa: Using Data to Find the Balance, was published in May of 2020. 

About Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at:

About the World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization contributes to a better future for people everywhere. Good health lays the foundation for vibrant and productive communities, stronger economies, safer nations and a better world. As the lead health authority within the United Nations system, our work touches people’s lives around the world every day. In Africa, WHO serves Member States and works with development partners to improve the health and well-being of all people living here. The WHO Regional Office for Africa is located in Brazzaville, Congo. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and by preventing epidemics. Resolve to Save Lives is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. Resolve received additional funding for the COVID-19 response from these donors and Start Small Foundation, CDC Foundation and Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find out more, visit: or Twitter @ResolveTSL and @DrTomFrieden

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please or Twitter @VitalStrat.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi- specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 business solutions are based on primary data coming from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques. “Game Changers” – our tagline – summarises our ambition to help our 5,000 clients navigate with confidence our world of rapid change.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since 1 July 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD). ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

About the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the World Economic Forum, acting as partner to the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the COVID Action Platform. The platform is intended to catalyse private-sector support for the global public health response to COVID-19, and to do so at the scale and speed required to protect lives and livelihoods, aiming to find ways to help end the global emergency as soon as possible. For more information, visit:

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