The ARCH African community aims to provide information, resources and updates by the networks and organisations who work in health research uptake.


Civil society organizations (CSOs) and COVID-19 response in Africa

27th July - By Blessings N. Kaunda-Khangamwa

“Human rights”, “advocacy” and “empowerment” were repeated themes in a recent stakeholder discussion of civil society organizations (CSOs) from Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, and Ghana. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new world order, temporarily limiting freedoms, calling on people to sanitize, wear masks, and maintain social distance. Across Africa, CSOs struggle to be recognized as a critical first-line constituency among those providing resources and services and offering checks and balances on governmental powers to manage COVID-19 funding.


How social sciences and modelling are informing COVID-19 policy responses across Africa

19th July - By Joel Onyango, Nora Ndege, Joanes Atela, Lenore Manderson, Tobias Chirwa and Uzma Alam

In this blog, we explore: (a) the state of social science and policy research and (b) modelling the impact of COVID-19 on health systems. We draw on a high-level dialogue among African policy makers, researchers and scientists that took place in June 2021. The “tele-convening” was part of a broader project on science engagement to support evidence-informed policy responses to COVID-19 in Africa which considers targeted, relevant, and context-specific rapid review of existing evidence for priority areas to inform the COVID-19 policy responses of African governments.


Science engagement to support evidence-informed and context-specific policy responses to COVID-19 in Africa: understanding transmission dynamics and diagnostics

16th June - By Uzma Alam, Joanes Atela, Gordon Awandare, Tobias Chirwa

Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been hampered by several factors, including lack of adequate evidence on effective approaches for different groups, scientific uncertainties, scarcity of context-relevant data, and the changing nature of the pandemic, most notably the emergence and spread of new variants. These challenges are exacerbated by weak coordination among relevant stakeholders in Africa that, if effective, could enhance sharing of information, improve expertise, and build best practices to manage the pandemic.


A collaboration to produce evidence-informed and context-specific science policy responses to COVID-19 in Africa

9th June - By Uzma Alam and Leah Mwai

The severe acute respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020 and continues to be one of the most challenging public health crises in recent history. While the nations of Africa have recorded fewer cases and deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak than Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, there have been new waves and new variants of the virus, causing a resurgence on the continent. COVID-19 has had a disastrous impact on the continent’s already strained health systems and threatens to become a social and economic emergency.


Perceptions and Preparedness of Healthcare Workers regarding local infection prevention and control procedures for COVID-19 in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal and Uganda

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, there is increasing pressure on healthcare workers to provide care in epidemic conditions, across different countries and clinical settings. To identify immediate areas of concern that need to be addressed, we need to understand how healthcare workers feel in delivering effective infection prevention procedures when managing patients in their workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Healthcare Workers (HCW) Survey is a four-country ALERRT iteration of the global WHO research protocol to report on the perceptions of Healthcare Workers during the pandemic. To date, four teams from across the ALERRT Network in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal and Uganda have implemented this study. Each ALERRT team used the WHO template protocol and adapted it to meet the needs and context-specific nature of their countries, both in terms of health systems and local languages. A selection of questions designed and included as part of the survey sought to explore the respondent’s personal COVID-19 experiences. The information collected through this study will help improve preparedness to prevent healthcare workers from becoming ill, and to effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Study Profile: Accuracy and Consequences of using Trial-of-antibiotics for TB diagnosis (ACT TB) - Malawi

This profile describes a study conducted in primary care centres in Malawi, investigating accuracy and broader clinical, and antimicrobial resistance impact of using trial-of-antibiotics to “rule out” tuberculosis among adults presenting with cough. Dr Titus Divala and his team share the context and resources produced for a systematic review and three arm (625 per arm) individually randomised (1:1:1), open-label controlled clinical trial which investigated whether treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics continue being used as a diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis. 

Key stakeholders for research uptake in Africa

These stakeholders were identified during a stakeholder mapping exercise by the ARCH programme in March-April 2021

Key Links to Regional Research Organisations

If you have anything to add or suggestions on what would be useful please get in touch: