Reported health system solutions implemented to contain COVID-19 in six West African countries
A media content analysis
Sakyi, K., Saalim, K., Morrison, E., Tuz-Zohra, F., Owusu, P., Zora, J., Thieda, P., Dalglish, S., & Kanyangarara, M. (2022). Reported health system solutions implemented to contain COVID-19 in six West African countries: A media content analysis. Journal of Global Health Reports, 6, Article e2022008. https://doi.org/10.29392/001c.32434
# Background When COVID-19 began to spread globally, concerns for high morbidity and mortality rates in West African countries started to grow. Nevertheless, West African countries have had lower morbidity and mortality rates than other countries in the world. Little research has been done to investigate what health system solutions these countries implemented to decrease COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality rates earlier in the pandemic. # Methods We performed a content analysis of highly circulated news organizations in 6 West African countries (Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, and Guinea) to identify health system solutions implemented in the early months of the pandemic. The news articles were analyzed in Dedoose, using a thematic approach based on the World Health Organization’s 6 health system building blocks for pandemic and epidemic preparedness and management. # Results We reviewed a total of 4,388 news articles, of which 1,437 excerpts focused on health system solutions. Health system solutions implemented in the selected countries varied. However, technological innovations, new national and multi-country collaborations and funding mechanisms, repurposing of existing resources and facilities, medical treatment experimentations, and enforceable regulations were all commonly used health system strategies. Nevertheless, limited local attention and resources were directed towards vaccine development. # Conclusions The health system strategies identified in this study can be beneficial for African nations and other countries in overcoming future health emergencies.