Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of citizens say they went without needed medical care and clean water at least once during the previous year, a significant increase compared to 2017, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.
Only a minority of citizens live in zones with piped water and sewage systems. Among those who had contact with a public clinic or hospital during the previous year, significant proportions report difficulties in accessing health care or having to pay a bribe to obtain the needed care, a troubling finding that has been fairly consistent over the past four survey rounds.
The survey also shows that citizens’ approval ratings for the government’s performance in providing water and sanitation services and improving basic health services, already low, have declined further.
The findings on inadequate access to water, sanitation, and health care point to priorities for urgent action, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.