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Key findings
  • About a quarter (26%) of Ghanaians say a member of their household lost a job, business, or primary source of income due to the pandemic, while 2% report that someone in their household became ill with COVID-19 or tested positive for the virus.
  • About six in 10 Ghanaians (59%) say they have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19.
  • Three-fourths (76%) of Ghanaians say the government has performed “fairly well” or “very well” in managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More than four in 10 Ghanaians (42%) say the government is not prepared to deal with future public health emergencies.

In Ghana, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on 12 March 2020 (Ministry of Health, 2020). As of 10 January 2023, the country had recorded 171,065 cases of COVID-19 with 1,461 deaths (World Health Oranization, 2023).

In response to the pandemic, the government declared a ban on public gatherings (funerals, festivals, workshops, conferences, rallies, church activities, and schools); closed schools as well as land, sea, and air borders; and imposed a three-week partial lockdown on the capital city of Accra and its environs as well as Kumasi, the second-largest city in the country (Darkwah, 2021). The government also launched a mass vaccination campaign throughout the country that has resulted in 36% of the population being either fully or partially vaccinated as of early December 2022 (Our World in Data, 2022).

Pandemic-related restrictions led to economic slowdowns across the country. Many businesses shut down, and many people lost sources of income (Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, 2021; Aduhene & Osei-Assibey, 2021). Government measures to lessen the economic impacts of the pandemic included free/subsidised water and electricity supply; favourable loans to qualified micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and provision of free food and other necessities, in collaboration with religious organisations, to affected households in Accra and Kumasi during the partial lockdown (Dadzie & Raju, 2020).

Findings from the latest Afrobarometer survey show that a quarter of Ghanaians say that a household member lost a job or primary source of income due to the pandemic. A majority of citizens think that the government was unfair in its distribution of pandemic-related relief assistance and that at least some of the resources intended for the COVID-19 response were lost to corruption.

A majority of Ghanaians report having received the COVID-19 vaccine, but almost three in 10 say they are unlikely to get vaccinated.

Overall, citizens give the government positive ratings for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a majority say it should invest more resources in preparations for the next public health emergency.

Maame Akua Amoah Twum

Maame is the communications coordinator for North and Anglophone West Africa at Afrobarometer

Lionel Osse Essima

Lionel is the assistant project manager for Anglophone West Africa and North Africa.