Covid-19 and West and Central African Health Systems

Exploring and learning from regional, national and sub-national evidence, policy and systems responses to Covid-19 in West and Central Africa

Objectives: CATALYSE seeks to analyse and make effective links between the different forms of evidence to inform public health and policy responses and to learn how State and Non-State actors, private sector, the health system and other sectors of relevance to health have responded to Covid-19 in West and Central Africa. This will generate lessons that can inform strengthening capacity, strategies and actions for the continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as preparedness and responses to new health security threats in sub-Saharan Africa.

An Advisory Committee provides periodic external review, advice, guidance and support to the country and the WAHO teams.

The implementation of CATALYSE is organized in three workstreams.


Work stream 1 gathers and organizes at the sub-regional and cross country level, epidemiological, public health, health system, health technology capacities and other sectoral evidence relevant to public health planning, policy and intervention responses to the epidemic in the short and medium term across West Africa. The lead for this workstream is the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO).

Workstream 2 qualitatively explores in depth, documents and analyzes policy and systems responses, actors, timelines and experiences at national and subnational levels in the responses to Covid-19 in six countries of West and Central Africa (Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.  The leads for this workstream are researcher teams based in research and academic institutions as well as ministries of health and public health institutes embedded in the six countries.

Workstream 3 supports coordination across the workstreams to promote collaborative learning and exchange across the sub-regional and countries teams and bodies of evidence and identify key cross cutting learnings from the findings.  The lead institution and host for the coordinating secretariat and this workstream is the Dodowa Health Research Centre of the Research and Development Division of the Ghana Health Service.

Institutions, leads and team members:

  • CATALYSE PROJECT COORDINATOR: Prof Irene A. Agyepong; DHRC RDD, College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Benin:
    • Ministère de la santé et de l’Action sociale, Division de la Recherche
    • Country Principal Investigator: Jean-Paul Dossou
    • Team members
    • Pacos Gandaho: Co-(Investigator)
  • DRC:
    • Centre de Connaissances en Santé en R. Congo (CCSC)
    • Country Principal Investigator: Chenge Mukalenge
    • Team Members
    • Yves Kashiya, Public Health Researcher, CCSC (Co-Investigator)
    • Chrispin Kabanga, CCSC, (Co-Investigator)
    • Joel Ekofo : CCSC, (Co-Investigator)
  • Ghana:
    • Dodowa Health Research Centre (DHRC), Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service
    • Country Principal Investigator: Lauren Wallace
    • Team Members
    • Anthony Ofosu, DDG, Ghana Health Service (Co-country PI)
    • Nana Efua Enyimayew Afun, Bilingual Research Assistant, DHRC-GHS (Researcher)
  • Guinea:
    • Africa Center of Excellence for the Prevention and Control of Transmissible Diseases” (CEA-PCMT) of the University Gamal Abdel Nasser of Conakry
    • Country Principal Investigator: Alexandre Delamou
    • Team members
    • Delphin Kolié, Public Health Systems and Disease Control; CEA-PCMT (Co-country PI)
    • Dr Fatoumata Namaren Keita, Public Health, Health Services and Programs Managament; CEA-PCMT (Researcher)
  • Nigeria:
    • College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus
    • Country Principal Investigator: Obinna Onwujekwe
    • Team members
    • Benjamin Uzochukwu, Public Health, Health Policy & Systems, (Researcher)
    • Chinyere Okeke, Public Health, Health policy and systems (Researcher)
    • Ojiugo Mbachu (Researcher)
    • Nkoli Uguru (Researcher)
    • Diuto Ojielo(Researcher)
    • Adanma Ekenna (Researcher)
    • Udo Ogu (Researcher)
    • Mrs Patricia Agbonwedikeizu
    • Nnamdi Ude
    • Chioma Onyedimma
    • Solum Onah
  • Senegal:
    • Ministère de la santé et de l’Action sociale, Division de la Recherche
    • Country Principal Investigator: Samba Corr Sah
    • Team members
    • Youssoupha NDIAYE, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) (Co-Country PI)
    • Zeyni El Abidine SY, Health Geographer (Project Administrator)
    • Abdoulaye DIAW, DSISS (Co-Country PI)
    • Ibrahima SONKO, Head of Planning Unit at COUS (Co-County PI)
    • Thiané GUEYE DIAW, Health Economics Unit (Co-Country PI)
  • Sub-regional:
    • West Africa Health Organization
    • Team members
    • Prof Issiaka Sombie (PI)
    • Serge Somda (Co-Country PI)
  • Coordinating Secretariat:
    • Dodowa Health Research Centre- Research and Development Division
    • Team members
    • PI: Prof Irene Akua Agyepong
    • Team members: Ms. Nana Efua Enyimayew Afun