Mapping COVID-19 access gaps from 14 countries and territories

This August 2022 report by Matahari Global, with the support of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, assesses progress on access to COVID-19 tools across 14 countries: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Jamaica, Liberia, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Perú, Senegal, Somalia (and de facto state Somaliland), Uganda and Ukraine.

Matahari collaborated with local partners in DRC, Madagascar, and Nigeria to obtain insights from rural and semi-rural areas on their levels of access to COVID-19 tools, and conducted interviews with key informants in all other countries. The report found, inter alia, that:

  1. there were numerous structural barriers to accessing vaccines, including proximity to vaccination centers and a distrust of government;
  2. that there was no free access to COVID-19 rapid self-tests across all countries;
  3. that community health workers were essential to the response but were largely unpaid;
  4. there was poor oxygen plant maintenance planning by governments; and
  5. Clinicians and health workers in rural areas in Haiti, Madagascar, and Nigeria reported never having heard of novel antivirals for COVID-19 nor the brand name “Paxlovid” – pointing to the need for communications infrastructure and organisation.