The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) launched its public survey on 27 March to better understand what South Africans know about Covid-19, the state of readiness to deal with the pandemic and how they feel about it.

The survey intends to better understand what South Africans know about the virus and how it impacts on the lives of people.

In a statement, the council said the survey comes within the context of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

The survey will consist of two parts:

  1. Moya Messaging: The usage of the data-free Moya Messaging social media platform, which will gather data from approximately four million members
  2. Qualitative interviews: The second part will contact participants using the telephone, video platforms or through an internet-based questionnaire.

Due to the lockdown, the council will employ a rapid assessment and response (RAR) approach which helps assess health issues and behaviour in a short time frame.

Professor Priscilla Reddy, study leader and deputy executive director of the council’s social aspect of public health programme said about the survey, “Social science has demonstrated its potential to help save lives, humanise epidemic responses, and mitigate the disruptive socio-economic and psychosocial burdens associated with outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.”

Reddy added, “In light of the global outbreak of the coronavirus, we need to understand more about this virus, how it affects people, how it is perceived, and the impact it has on the lives of people.”

Understanding the impact can help improve messaging to change behaviours, attitudes and perceptions which will help control the spread of the virus.

To participate in the study click on either this link or this link.

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