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Better Knowledge for an Effective COVID-19 Response


Latin America and the Caribbean accounts for over a quarter of the world’s total COVID-19 cases. The World Bank released a series of studies to provide better knowledge and guidance to countries for an effective COVID-19 response in the region.


Guidebook: Effective National Testing and Surveil-lance Strategies for SARS-CoV-2 LAC

Guidebook for Effective National Testing and Surveillance Strategies for SARS-CoV-2: Latin America and the Caribbean

January 2023


SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to have a substantial global impact. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean need comprehensive approaches to testing and surveillance that are adaptable to resource availability and changing epidemiology to diagnose and monitor SARS-CoV-2, inform resource allocation, support vaccine and genomic surveillance, monitor population immunity, and mitigate the impact of future pandemic waves. Learn more about how countries in Latin America and the Caribbean can leverage multiple passive and active approaches to testing and surveillance develop proactive strategies that will help them respond to COVID-19 and future public health threats by reading the World Bank report on Effective National Testing and Surveillance Strategies for COVID-19. 

Blog: Better testing and surveillance are essential for resilient health systems


Vaccine Acceptance and Uptake in the Caribbean

A Shot in the Arm: New Evidence from the World Bank High Frequency Surveys on COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Uptake in the Caribbean

July 2022


This brief reports the findings from innovative high frequency phone surveys (HFPS) on the drivers of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine acceptance and uptake in the Caribbean among the adult population.



Strengthening Public Health Surveillance Through Wastewater Testing: An Essential Investment for the COVID-19 Pandemic and Future Health Threats

January 2022

Partners: University of Ottawa (Canada) and funding from Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF)

To contain and control the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean need multifaceted strategic plans that enable detection, diagnosis, control and monitoring of the virus that generates this disease. Wastewater testing offers a relatively inexpensive way to address these four challenges in a comprehensive, sustainable, timely and equitable manner. 

Learn more about innovation in public health surveillance through wastewater-based epidemiology by reading a recent World Bank study on how to scale up wastewater-based epidemiology in Latin America and the Caribbean 

A recording of the launch of the report can be accessed here

Video: understand the benefits of wastewater-based epidemiology

Blog: How innovation in wastewater monitoring helps track down deadly diseases in Latin America 



Guidebook: Population-Level, National Testing Strategies for COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean

October 2020

Partners: McGill University and funding from Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF)

Vaccines and testing strategies are two sides of the same coin: necessary investments to rebuild trust in societies, enable schools and the economy to operate safely and boost inclusive economic growth so that countries can reverse the increase in poverty inflicted by the pandemic. To minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic, countries need to implement proactive preventive strategies to mitigate transmission and allow for economic recovery. 

The World Bank released on October 29, 2020 a practical guide for countries to develop and implement proactive population-based testing strategies. The guide provides a practical framework for the development and implementation of robust, population-level national testing strategies for COVID-19. Experiences of countries worldwide hold invaluable lessons for policy makers rolling out national proactive testing strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Download the report here

Blog: Testing, Testing, Testing: An essential strategy for public health, vaccine deployment and economic reactivation during COVID-19



Study: Comparing Policy Responses to COVID-19 among Countries in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region

December 2020

Partners: North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and funding from Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF)

This study examines COVID-19 policy interventions in ten LAC countries - Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Trinidad and Tobago - and compares them to the response in two high-performing jurisdictions - South Korea and Uruguay. Emergency preparedness and response governance, timeliness and stringency of measures, and health care sector response to COVID-19 in selected countries are examined against comparator countries.  Overall, this study provides five key considerations for governments to strengthen their response to this ongoing pandemic: 1) ensure adequate supply and distribution of personal protective equipment; 2) allocate resources emphasize prevention and to shift to lower cost interventions where possible; 3) support adherence to public health interventions with emergency safety net measures; 4) ensure appropriate measures for testing and tracing; and 5) strengthen scientific leadership and clear communication with the public.

Download the report here.

Blog: Accelerating mutual learning through the COVID-19 pandemic





Michele Gragnolati

Manager in Health, Nutrition and Population

Jeremy Veillard

Senior Health Specialist

Aakash Mohpal

Senior Economist

Laura Di Giorgio

Senior Economist