Afrobarometer survey: 75% of Gambians express mistrust of government’s COVID-19 statistics

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- A new survey conducted by Afrobarometer appeared to show that 75% of Gambians expressed mistrust of the government’s COVID-19 statistics.

They believe that some or a lot of resources intended for the pandemic response were lost to government corruption.

While some believe that government has been doing well in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are Gambians who still don’t believe in the existence of the deadly pandemic in the country, the survey finds.

The survey has shown different views of Gambians with regards to the COVID-19 ranging from the ministry of health situational reports to government’s response to the pandemic among others.

According to the report, majority of Gambians approve the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but few trust the government to ensure that vaccines are safe.

While vaccination roll-out in the Gambia began in February, only two in 10 citizens say they are likely to try to be vaccinated, while most believe that prayer is more effective than a vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection.

The research further showed that while most Gambian households received government assistance to help them with the pandemic, more than half think assistance was not distributed fairly, and an even larger majority think COVID-19 resources were lost to government corruption.

The key findings include:

  • Eight in 10 Gambians (79%) say their households received government assistance to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (Figure 1).
  • A slim majority (53%) say government assistance was not distributed fairly (Figure 2).
  • Fewer than one in four citizens (23%) say they trust the government “somewhat” or “a lot” to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. A similary minority (21%) say they are “somewhat” or “very” likely to try to get vaccinated (Figure 3).
  • Strong majorities say the government has managed the pandemic “fairly well” or “very well” (60%) and done a good job of keeping the public informed (75%) (Figure 4).
  • But similar majorities express mistrust of the government’s COVID-19 statistics (75%) and believe that “some” or “a lot” of resources intended for the pandemic response were lost to government corruption.
  • About seven in 10 citizens (69%) believe that prayer is more effective than a vaccine would be in preventing COVID-19 infection, including 52% who think prayer is “much more effective” (Figure 5).

Afro barometer is a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that provides reliable data on Africans’ experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.

The network said it conducted face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples. A previous Afrobarometer survey was conducted in the Gambia in 2018.

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