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Coronavirus in Africa: A study of the knowledge and perceptions of coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria

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Perceptions Of Coronavirus In Sub-Saharan Africa

While the official number of cases in countries such as Kenya remains low, governments throughout sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging regions are already taking steps to stop the virus from spreading to vulnerable populations. South Africa has now declared a national emergency, and both South Africa and Kenya have also implemented broad travel restrictions. There are also concerns around the economic impacts of the disease on economies in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which are already fragile.

To better understand the knowledge of the virus as it was beginning to spread in sub-Saharan Africa, GeoPoll deployed an SMS survey from March 10th-13th 2020 in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. This survey examined awareness levels, primary information sources, knowledge of how to prevent the virus, and levels of worry. The study had a total sample size of 1,350 (450 per country) and was roughly nationally representative by location across each country. The sample had an even gender split and an age split of 33% ages 15-24, 35% ages 25-34, and 32% ages 35+. Of the initial 1,350 respondents, 1275 (94%) were aware of the recent outbreak and continued to complete the remainder of the survey.