African response to the Covid-19 epidemic (ARIACOV)
The project is built around three components:
- Strengthen the diagnostic capacities of laboratories through training and the supply of equipment and consumables
- Understand the dynamics of the infection , through epidemiological surveys, preparation of a surveillance plan epidemiological by country and modeling the dynamics of the epidemic to guide public health decisions
- Monitor the knowledge and attitudes of populations and caregivers , through data collection systems (media monitoring in particular), quantitative surveys and qualitative, in order to feed the intervention strategy of national officials.
An action research project in support of the African response to the Covid-19 epidemic (ARIACOV) has just been funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) as part of the "Covid-19 - Health in Common" initiative. This two-year project aims to support the authorities of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Senegal in developing and strengthening national strategies to respond to the epidemic.
ARIACOV is the result of a close collaboration between many IRD researchers and their partners working in West Africa (Benin, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal) and Central Africa (Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo). ARIACOV is based on International Joint Laboratories (IJL), that are collaborative arrangements developed by IRD. Funded at a cost of €2.2 million, it will enable operational research to be carried out over the next 24 months in three areas:
- implementing a set of activities that combine training, equipment, and consumables, to perform direct diagnosis of the virus on a large scale and enable sero-epidemic population-based surveys to be carried out;
- carrying out field epidemiological surveys and developing models;
- establishing or strengthening quantitative data collection mechanisms, coupled with qualitative/ethnographic surveys and the monitoring of social media and networks, to better understand how populations and health workers apprehend and interpret Covid-19 and government response measures.