Tackling Crises through Geospatial Impact : COVID-19 and its Impact on Society, “Nigeria” - African Women in GIS

Tackling Crises through Geospatial Impact : COVID-19 and its Impact on Society, “Nigeria”

One year ago 296

Mahfuza Adamu Abubakar, RTP, MNITP, MGEOSON. 

Town Planning Officer, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Federal Capital Development  Authority, FCDA, Abuja, Nigeria. 

Tackling Crises through Geospatial Impact :

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Society, “Nigeria”



Six months have passed since Chinese authorities identified a deadly new coronavirus strain,  SARS-CoV-2 in January 2020. The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, (Severe Acute Respiratory  Syndrome Coronavirus 2, COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in unprecedented global health  challenge and economic uncertainties. Covid-19 is a virus that has created tension and devastation  around the globe. The spread of Corona Virus in Nigeria was slow in the first few days. However,  as at 8:00 AM GMT+1, July 1, 2020, there were 25694 confirmed COVID-19 cases. This article  is going to specifically discuss the effect of COVID-19 on the socio-economic well-being of  Nigeria, show the spread across the country (Temporally) by producing maps using GIS (Geographic Information System) with acquired data from relevant sources and Nigeria’s health  sector preparedness to handle the pandemic. 


Effect of Covid-19 on Nigerian Socio-economic Well-being

Nigeria has been hit hard by both the spread of the virus and the decline in oil prices—a sector on  which the economy is heavily reliant. The government has thus been laden with the challenging  task of managing a health crisis in an already weakened economy. Economic shocks continue to  affect Nigerian households in reducing their food consumption as a coping mechanism has  increased since April/May (Gbemisola et al. 2020). Also, the closure of schools, colleges, and  universities by the Federal and State governments was an urgent need of the current situation which  prevailed in most States in Nigeria. Nigerian Government started taking preventive decisions on  COVID-19 just after WHO recognized it as a pandemic.

However, the shutdown of most schools  and colleges in the nation interrupted the academic year with a tremendous effect on the academic  syllabus. Schools had to concentrate on scheduling their final exams before the lockdown  commencement (Aiyedun, 2020). Other MDA’s, Institutions as well as agencies who were  undergoing scholarship screening and documentation processes after massive recruitment had to  cancel or reschedule exam dates, postings and other activities, to cortile the spread of the virus.  Examples of such institutions are the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA and the  Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF. The severity of the virus lead to much anxiety  and desperate measures had to be taken. Such measures according to WHO include hygiene,  isolation and social distancing. If clustering of people is considered a major catalyst in the spread  of coronavirus, social distancing is therefore important for its control. But compliance has  remained a concern, especially in Nigeria (Ebere et al. 2020).

1.1 COVID-19 Spread across the Country (Temporally) Using GIS.

COVID-19 outbreak has escalated very rapidly across the globe. Esri has worked with various  government agencies around the world and bodies such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDCP) to help them leverage GIS technology  to make decisions, plan and communicate various measures to control the spread of the pandemic.  One of the most important properties of epidemics is their spatial spread, “a characteristic which  mainly depends on the epidemic mechanism, human mobility and control strategy” (Gross et al. 2020).

GIS and spatial statistics can be used to respond and help mitigate the epidemic through  scientific information, find spatial correlations with other variables, and identify transmission  dynamics (Xiong et al. 2020). The implementation of geographical and geo-spatial analysis in  understanding locations and the distribution patterns of COVID-19 phenomena in the context of  geography. There are already various reviews on COVID-19, but they have not approached the  issue from a geographical perspective (Tobaiqy et al. 2020). Below are different maps produced  using ArcGIS showing the spread of Corona Virus for April, August and November 2020. 



Figure 1: The above map shows the virus spread across the states with Lagos having the  highest number of cases while Cross River, Kogi and Yobe have no cases at all.  Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, April 2020.


Figure 2: Shows the number of deaths in each state as of 30th April 2020 with Lagos having  the highest (21). 

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, April 2020.

Figure 3: Corona Virus spread across the states, August 2020 still with Lagos having the  highest number of cases while Rivers, Oyo, Ondo, Plateau, Kaduna, Edo and Delta States  have increased numbers of cases over the months having more numbers than Gombe and  Borno as shown in the map for April 2020. Cross River, Kogi and the Yobe States have  also recorded some cases after April where there were zero cases in these states. 

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, August 2020.

Figure 4: Shows the number of deaths from COVID-19 in Nigerian state as of August 2020. Lagos State registered 181 more deaths, States with 1 to 6 deaths in April registered  at least 15 or more deaths and states with zero deaths registered at least 5 deaths and above  from April to August 2020. 

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, August 2020.

Figure 5: Shows the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Niger, Oyo and Plateau States from 31st August to 15th November 2020. 

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, November 2020.

Figure 6: The number of deaths from corona virus has increased in Adamawa, Anambra,  Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Katsina, Kwara, Ogun, Osun, Plateau and Sokoto by at  least 15 and above, 30 and above in Borno, Delta, Kaduna, Oyo and Rivers, 60 and above  in Edo and FCT and 115 above in Lagos from 31st of August to 15th of November 2020.

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, November 2020. 

1.2 Nigerian Health Sector and Preparedness to Handle Pandemic Spread. 

The index case in Nigeria was imported by an Italian citizen on February 27, 2020. Typical of a  novel respiratory tract viral infection. With the continuous daily rise in the incidence, enhanced  surveillance programs were immediately activated and implemented in all parts of Nigeria (Idris  et al. 2020). Even though an inadequate number of persons have been tested so far, the government  of Nigeria has been activating public health laboratories to scale up its testing capacity (Fig 7). Due to the impact of partial lockdown and curfew in most states of Nigeria, the government has  been able to provide some form of palliatives to vulnerable populations. However, the COVID-19  pandemic has exposed the crisis in the Nigerian health sector and how the medical workers battle  to curtail spread and treat the infected as well as themselves (Aworinde, 2020).

This shows that  the Nigerian health system is ill-equipped and underprepared to handle the Covid-19 or any other outbreak. However, Nigerian social workers, most especially medical social workers, have played  a significant role in passing out information on Covid-19 preventive measures to the general  public. The article recommends that the Nigerian government should wake up and fix the health  sector and make it proactive to handle epidemics/pandemics as well as other forms of ailment in  the future. Social work practice in Nigeria should be promoted by the government through the  institutionalization of the profession 



Figure 7: The above map shows the distribution of NCDC molecular laboratories active for  COVID-19 tests across the Nation. Its shows that Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno,  Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ondo, Yobe and Zamfara  have 1 laboratory each, Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Enugu, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto and  Taraba have 2 each, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Ogun, Plateau and Rivers have 3 each, Kano 4, FCT 4  and Lagos 6. 

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, November 2020.



Aiyedun, T.G, (2020). .Effect of COVID-19 on Educational System in Nigeria.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341549578_EFFECT_OF_COVID 19_ON_EDUCATIONAL_SYSTEM_IN_NIGERIA 

Ajibo, H., (2020). Effect of Covid-19 on Nigerian Socio-economic Well-being, Health Sector  Pandemic Preparedness and the Role of Nigerian Social Workers in the War against Covid-19. 

Aworinde, T., (2020). COVID-19 exposes Nigeria’s wobbling healthcare system.  https://healthwise.punchng.com/covid-19-exposes-nigerias-wobbling-healthcare-system/ 

Ebere, R.A., Sandra, I.I., Chizuruoke S.N, Nnaemeka O.N., Chika, I.N, Clement, A.M., (2020).  The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing in Nigeria: ignorance or defiance. 

Gbemisola, O., Amparo, PL., Kevin, M., and Akuffo, A. (2020). Tracking the socioeconomic  impacts of the pandemic in Nigeria: Results from the first three rounds of the Nigeria COVID-19  National Longitudinal Phone Survey. https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/tracking socioeconomic-impacts-pandemic-nigeria-results-first-three-rounds-nigeria-covid 

Gross, B., Zheng, Z., Liu, S., Chen, X., Sela, A., Li, J., Havlin, S., (2020). Spatio-temporal  propagation of COVID-19 pandemics.  

Idris, N.A., Anthony, U.C., Peter, E.G., and Musa, S., (2020). Public Health, Socioeconomic  Responses, and associated Challenges against Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in Nigeria.  https://www.id-press.eu/mjms/article/view/4931 

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC WEBSITE ON COVID- 19 PANDEMIC). 

Tobaiqy, M., Qashqary, M., Al-Dahery, S., Mujallad, A., Hershan, A.A., Kamal, M.A., Helmi, N.,  (2020). Therapeutic management of COVID-19 patients: a systematic review. Infection Prevention  in Practice 100061. 

Xiong, Y., Guang, Y., Chen, F., Zhu, F., 2020. Spatial statistics and influencing factors of the  novel coronavirus pneumonia 2019 epidemic in Hubei Province, China. Research Square  https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-16858/v2

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