Application of the socio-ecological model in the efforts to end COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa: The challenges and success stories

Elvis E. Tarkang1,2,3*, Hubert Amu1

  1. Department of Population and Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Science, Ghana
  2. HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Network Cameroon
  3. School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

*Corresponding Author: Elvis E. Tarkang; E-mail:

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in December 2019 in the Hubei Province of China. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. The WHO thus proposed country and technical guidelines in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reviewed the preparedness of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries in ending the pandemic through the adoption of the WHO guidelines. The Socio-Ecological Model was adopted as a conceptual framework in conducting our analysis. We realized that while striving to implement the WHO guidelines, a plethora of microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem factors make it difficult for SSA countries to achieve the desired results aimed at halting the spread of the virus. SSA countries may, therefore, not be able to end the COVID-19 pandemic soon. We recommend various interventions including short- and long-term loan facilities from donor agencies, decentralization of COVID-19 testing to sub-national levels, and increased community engagement to improve risk communication and adherence to public health measures to end the spread of COVID-19 in SSA.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; COVID-19; The Novel Coronavirus; Socio-Ecological Model; World Health Organization (WHO)

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