To control the spread of coronavirus, the Kenyan Ministry of Health COVID-19 Taskforce has implemented initial prevention and mitigation measures. Of concern are the densely overcrowded, poor urban slums where sanitation and social distancing measures are near impossible. COVID-19 would spread rapidly and be devastating under these conditions. To inform the Taskforce strategy, the Population Council COVID-19 study team utilizes rapid phone-based surveys to collection information on knowledge, attitudes and practices among a longitudinal cohort of heads of household sampled from existing prospective cohort studies across five Nairobi urban slums. Iterations of the survey will be conducted every 2–4 weeks. The baseline survey (n=2,009) was conducted March 30-31 with subsequent follow-up surveys conducted April 13-14 (n=1,764) and May 10-11 (n=1,750). Findings on awareness of COVID-19 symptoms, perceived risk, awareness of and ability to carry out preventive behaviors, misconceptions, and fears will inform Taskforce interventions. In subsequent rounds, behavior change messages will be randomly assigned to measure effectiveness, or if randomization is not feasible, survey questions on exposure and response to government campaigns will be evaluated using causal inference approaches.
Abuya, Timothy, Karen Austrian, Adan Isaac, Beth Kangwana, Faith Mbushi, Eva Muluve, Daniel Mwanga, Thoai Ngo, Mercy Nzioki, Rhoune Ochako, Jessie Pinchoff, Ben Tidwell, and Corinne White. 2020. "COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in urban slums in Nairobi, Kenya: Study description." Nairobi: Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic