Social Stigma and other Consequences of COVID-19 Pandemic in Low Resource Setting, in Eastern Africa: Need to Increase Preventive Efforts and Addressing the Consequences, 2020

Abstract Since the emergency of COVID-19 pandemics, many countries have been encountered a multitude of challenges. People have been facing health related and other social consequences throughout the world. It is too early to know the aggravated impact of COVID-19 on people living in resource-limited setting, like east Africa countries. In these countries, besides direct public health impact, the COVID-19 pandemic has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. Social stigma can negatively affect those with the disease, as well as their caregivers, family, friends and communities.COVID-19 pandemics have also been provoked great impacts on daily social consumptions such as food and other food supplements. In addition, COVID-19 pandemic were overshadowed endemics diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV related care and antenatal care services as well as other non-communicable diseases prevention and control. Social stigma coupled with other consequences could result in more severe health problems, can undermine social cohesion and prompt possible social isolation of groups, which might contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread and difficulties controlling a disease outbreak. Therefore, how we communicate about COVID-19 is critical in supporting people to take effective action to help combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma. An environment needs to be created in which the disease and its impact can be discussed and addressed openly, honestly and effectively. This is a message for government, media and local organizations working on the COVID-19 infections.

Keywords— COVID-19, Social consequence, Resource – limited setting, Africa.

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