Households in the country spend an average of GH¢12 per week on personal protective equipment (PPE) against the COVID-19, a study by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has indicated.
The Third Wave COVID-19 Household and Jobs Tracker Survey also revealed that people in urban and coastal communities spent more on PPE.
At the launch of the report in Accra yesterday, a Senior Statistician and Demographer at the GSS, Mr Victor Boateng Owusu, explained that whereas the median expenditure of residents of rural communities was GH¢10.3, the expenditure for urban and coastal communities were GH¢14 and GH¢15, respectively.
In addition, he said, both the median and the mean expenditures in coastal communities were higher than those of rural communities due to the long coastal line in the country where many recreational facilities were located, drawing more people to such places.
The GSS conducted the survey in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank, with technical support from Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a civil society organisation.
Data for the survey were collected across all the 16 regions of the country in the first two weeks of December last year.
The survey consisted of two modules — A and B; whereas Module A focused on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on households, Module B was on the impact of the pandemic on children and family situations.
Households were only asked to complete Module B if they answered Module A questions. They were asked if they had children between a day old and 17 years in a household.
In all, 7,999 households were sampled from the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round Seven, GLSS7 (GLSS7) for the survey.
There were 2,370 sample size of households for Module A, while 1,684 also completed module B.
Reusable face mask
Mr Owusu suggested that considering the high expenditure on PPE by households, particularly on face masks, it would be economically profitable for people to buy reusable face masks.
The survey further indicated that two-thirds of households had not recovered from their income levels to pre-COVID-19 times.
“Only 26.7 per cent of respondents indicated that their total household income stayed the same, compared to the period before COVID-19 (March 16, 2020),” he said.
Mr Owusu further said 5.1 per cent of respondents claimed their total income increased, while 68.2 per cent said their household income decreased.
He added that 77.3 per cent of households with income derived from a non-farm family business saw a decrease in income, only 4.4 per cent reporting an increase in income.
“The 4.2 per cent of households who got income from pension saw the smallest change of this income source. 76.7 per cent reported no change in pension income, 13 per cent a reduction and 10.3 per cent an increase,” Mr Owusu said.
The report further revealed that majority of the people never got tested for COVID-19 due to the fear of stigma, with a third of Ghanaians saying that it was difficult to get tested for COVID-19 in their communities, while others said COVID-19 was not the major reason for not working.
The Deputy Government Statistician, Dr Faustina Frempong-Ainguah, said the report would help the government and other establishments make informed decisions.
She, therefore, urged the media to disseminate the findings to stimulate discussions on the report.