This presentation recounts findings on COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Guatemala’s indigenous municipalities. A total of 144 phone-based key informant interviews were conducted from April 14–18, 2020, in ten municipalities. Key informants included indigenous women, heads of households, teachers, community leaders, municipal officers, and frontline health workers. Recommendations include: 1) intensifying government efforts to deliver accurate information on the prevention of COVID-19 to indigenous communities with a focus on developing a COVID-19 roadmap for community action after the first case is identified in a given municipality, and considering alternatives for self-isolation for the poorest households; 2) conveying tailored, actionable information with a multilingual approach; 3) engaging and mobilizing community leaders, teachers, midwives, and young indigenous female mentors to deliver information at the community and household levels. Recommended government emergency plans include: supporting frontline health workers and municipal officers who are at high risk and not able to stay home due to their profession by providing personal protective equipment; intensifying efforts to address the impact of food insecurity and loss of income; and guaranteeing indigenous communities access to hygiene products and medicine.
"Guatemala indigenous municipalities: COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices," COVID-19 Research & Evaluations presentation. Guatemala City: Population Council, 2020.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic