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 ~2,000 heads of household sampled from existing prospective cohort studies across five Nairobi urban slums. Iterations of the survey will be conducted every 1-2 weeks. Baseline 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.
Austrian, Karen and Timothy Abuya. 2020. "Nairobi informal settlements: COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes and practices—Preliminary findings," COVID-19 Research & Evaluations presentation. Nairobi: Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic