AnalyticsFeature

South Africa’s statistical agency maps communities vulnerable to Covid-19

Expert Contributions 14 Dec 2020 - 17:32 SAST

South Africa’s statistical agency maps communities vulnerable to Covid-19

Expert Contributions 14 Dec 2020 - 17:32 SAST

Information from Statistics South Africa

With South Africa officially facing its second wave of Covid-19 infections, Statistics South Africa has released an online mapping tool that shows which communities may be more adversely affected by pandemic’s outbreaks. The South African Covid-19 Vulnerability Index aims to identify populations that face multiple risks and who are considered most vulnerable.

The index can serve as a tool to assist with targeted response planning as it highlights areas which are vulnerable to the virus as defined by the rank and indicators that are most prevalent. It can also serve as means for evidence-based pandemic management planning to provide the best and most feasible location-focused response.

Stats SA has also released a report outlining the effect the pandemic might have on certain demographics, namely mortality, fertility and migration.

Access the South African Covid-19 Vulnerability Index dashboard, the related technical report, or the demographic impact report.

Developing the index

The South African Covid-19 Vulnerability Index was developed using the smallest area population data available and incorporating dimensions and indicators to statistically reflect localised risk factors that may contribute to the spread of Covid-19 for each individual against set criteria.

The Vulnerability Index uses Census 2011 data and eight indicators related to labour force activity, access to media, household services, overcrowding, multigenerational status, age and chronic illness to output a composite indicator to reflect the vulnerability status of citizens to the virus and where these individuals are located.

A natural counting approach is used to determine the headcount of vulnerable individuals within a population as well as measure their level of simultaneous vulnerability determining intensity.

A score was calculated as the headcount multiplied by the intensity, with the final score ranked from 0 to 5, with 5 being the most vulnerable, 0 the least.