Modelling the Potential Impact of Stigma on the Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19 in South Africa

Siphokazi Princess Gatyeni, Faraimunashe Chirove, Farai Nyabadza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem in South Africa. Individuals affected and infected by the disease suffer from stigma resulting in increased COVID-19 infections. In this paper, we developed a mathematical model to assess the effects of stigma on COVID-19 in South Africa, using low, moderate, and high stigma regimes in the population. The mathematical model was analysed and the basic reproduction number, R0, of the COVID-19 model with stigma was determined. The model was then fitted to data of the four COVID-19 waves for the new daily infected cases, and the estimated parameter values from different waves are presented. The effects of stigma on COVID-19 waves were examined using the four stigma regimes (high, moderate, low, and stigma-free regimes). Our results revealed that stigma is instrumental in the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. It is also a significant contributor to sustaining COVID-19 in the population and probably in other infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. The results obtained can influence policy directions with respect to stigma and its impact on the transmission dynamics of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3253
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • COVID-19
  • basic reproduction number
  • global stability
  • model fitting
  • modelling
  • sensitivity analysis
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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