On August 3, 2021, Belinda Archibong, assistant professor of economics, published new research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), alongside Princeton University demographer C. Jessica E. Metcalf. Their article, titled “Building toward useful SARS-CoV-2 models in Africa,” evaluates the accuracy of model case trajectories for SARS-CoV-2 that were published by Ssentongo et al.
The researchers conclude that Ssentongo et al.'s work accurately reflects the "significant heterogeneity" in disease transmission patterns, policy responses, and the costs associated with these policy responses across the African continent, underscoring the need for flexibility and tailored approaches to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in this region of the world. Additionally, the authors point to the critical role that information sharing and collaborative scientific and policy efforts have become in controlling other infectious diseases, such as meningitis, which has become endemic in parts of Africa. These lessons can – and should – be applied to the ongoing pandemic involving SARS-CoV-2 to control the spread of COVID-19.