Cambridge-Africa

Sentiment and opinion analysis of public space physical activity in Lagos during lockdown

Oni

Sentiment and opinion analysis of public space physical activity in Lagos during lockdown: a data-driven approach to developing context-aware public health messaging to reduce disease vulnerability and improve COVID-19 control.

Dr Taibat Lawanson (Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos, Nigeria) & Dr Tolu Oni (MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, UK)

The COVID-19 pandemic has required lockdown measures that influence leisure physical activity (LPA) in many African cities also experiencing an obesity pandemic, a risk factor for adverse COVID-19 outcomes. Despite lockdown measures, there have been reports of an outdoor LPA in Lagos, particularly in lower-income areas, where the reduction in traffic associated with lockdown measures may have reduced air pollution, injury and violence, enticing residents to defy lockdown restrictions to take advantage of these newly created safe spaces[1],[2]. This creates an evolving tension in public health messaging for COVID-19 control versus obesity prevention that could have implications for health inequities in the long term. 

We aim to conduct opinion analyses of public space LPA to explore perceptions of government lockdown restrictions (and enforcement), and the impact of these lockdown measures on the perceptions, nature and frequency of appropriation of public space for activity in Lagos. Findings will inform development of context-aware public health messaging that safely encourages physical activity in the short term and health foresight interventions to reduce co-morbidity-associated vulnerability to future health emergencies long-term. 

[1] https://twitter.com/Engr_Series/status/1247458527263764481

[2] https://twitter.com/gboyegaakosile/status/1247807746772094976

*This project is supported by a Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund COVID-19 Emergency Award

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