Economic, health and physical impacts of covid-19 pandemic in sub-saharan african regions: A cross sectional survey

Khathutshelo Percy Mashige, Uchechukwu Levi Osuagwu, Sekar Ulagnathan, Bernadine N. Ekpenyong, Emmanuel Kwasi Abu, Piwuna Christopher Goson, Raymond Langsi, Obinna Nwaeze, Chikasirimobi G. Timothy, Deborah Donald Charwe, Richard Oloruntoba, Chundung Asabe Miner, Tanko Ishaya, Godwin O. Ovenseri-Ogbomo, Kingsley E. Agho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The key preventive measures adopted to minimise the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had significant health, economic and physical impacts mostly in developing countries. This study evaluated the health, economic and physical impacts of COVID-19 lockdown measures among sub-Saharan African (SSA) population and associated demographic variations. Methods: A total of 1970 respondents took part in this web-based cross-sectional survey during the mandatory lockdown period in most SSA. The dependent variables were health (COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation), socioeconomic (lost job, closed down business) and physical impacts (separated from family) of COVID-19. Univariate and bivariate logistic regression analyses were used to explore the factors associated with each of the dependent variables by the four sub-regions (Southern, Western, Central and East Africa). Results: The respondents were aged 34.1 ± 11.5 years (range: 18–75 years) and mostly men (1099, 55%). 25.9% (n = 511) reported an impact of COVID-19 pandemic with significant regional variations (p < 0.0005, higher proportion were East 36.2% and Southern Africans 30.3%) but no gender (p = 0.334) and age group variations (p > 0.05). Among Central African respondents, more men than women lost their businesses (45.7% versus 14.3%, p = 0.002) and contracted COVID-19 infections (40.0% versus 18.2%, p = 0.024) during the study period. Multivariable analysis revealed that respondents from East (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.42–2.69), Southern (AOR 1.46, 95% CI: 1.09– 1.96) and Central Africa (AOR 1.47, 95% CI: 1.06–2.03) reported significantly higher impact of COVID-19. Those who reported family separation during the lockdown were more likely to be older participants (39–48 years, AOR 2.48, 95% CI: 1.11–5.57). Conclusion: One in four SSA respondents, mostly East and Southern Africans, were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the lockdown. Interventions in high-risk populations are needed to reduce the health, socioeconomic and gender disparities in the impacts of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4799-4807
Number of pages9
JournalRisk Management and Healthcare Policy
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2021


  • Africa
  • Coronavirus infection
  • Family separation
  • Hospitalisation
  • Infections
  • Job loss
  • Lockdown


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