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Is Ghana among countries with one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 tests in Africa?

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Ghana has one of the highest numbers of tests conducted for COVID-19 on the African continent -President Akufo-Addo 

An official from WHO Ghana has confirmed Ghana to be among African countries testing in high numbers on the continent. Furthermore, available data for eleven other African countries in comparison with Ghana, also prove this assertion to be true.

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Health experts have shown the importance of testing for COVID-19 in order to help isolate or hospitalize and treat infected people, as well as to help identify the prevalence, spread and contagiousness of the virus in the community. 

It is in this light that in a recent update on measures taken to combat the spread of Coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo stated the government of Ghana’s efforts to reduce the number of cases through tracing, testing and treating. 

He highlighted that the total number of tests conducted in Ghana as at 13 June 2020, was 254, 331- a number which he stated was one of the highest on the African continent, especially in relation to Ghana’s population of 31 million. 


Dubawa spoke to an official from the WHO office in Ghana who confirmed the claim:

“Oh yes, Ghana is one of the countries testing high numbers in Africa’’

News reports here, here, here, reveal that testing rates in Africa are generally low as most African countries were not conducting tests for COVID-19 due to a number of constraints.  

Yet, for some that were testing, Dubawa found data available on the total tests conducted as at 13 June 2020 for the following twelve African countries, with their corresponding population. 

This is because, experts here, here, here, here indicate that the population of a country is a factor considered to indicate a country’s testing rate.

CountryTotal tests conducted as of 13 June 2020 PopulationTests Per 1000 population(test/(population/1000))
Djibouti40,855 988,00041.351
South Africa1,087,88759,308,69018.342

Source of country tests without hyperlinks: Our world in data
Source of country tests with hyperlinks: National sites for each country
Source of country population: Worldometer

Based on available data as of 13 June 2020 on the above twelve African countries, the testing rates show that Ghana is among the countries with high total tests conducted in Africa.


The President of Ghana’s statement that Ghana’s total tests conducted (254,331) for COVID-19 as at 13 June, 2020 is one of the highest on the African continent is true. 

Ghana ranks 4th out of 12 African countries with available figures on testing of citizens. An official from the World Health Organisation in Ghana has confirmed that Ghana is among countries in Africa testing high numbers. 

Moreover, available data from eleven other African countries prove this assertion.

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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