Women have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 and by measures taken to contain and prevent the spread of the pandemic, such as the lockdown, a new report has revealed.
The report from a survey, conducted by Twaweza Sauti Za Wanainchi, was aimed at understanding the citizens’ knowledge, opinions and behaviours around Covid-19 since May 2020 to support government efforts to combat the pandemic.
According to the survey, across Uganda, eight out of ten citizens (79%) said the lockdown had increased cases of teenage pregnancy while sexual violence had gotten worse.
The survey also discovered that because many people are disillusioned while some have lost their jobs, cases of alcohol consumption (58%) and drug abuse (49%) had increased.
The report further stated that most Kampala residents were not confident of getting the treatment they need quickly if they contracted Covid-19.
“Half are somewhat confident (49%), while 19% are very confident and 32% are not confident at all. Half of Kampala residents (51%) say that the main reason they follow the standard operating procedures is to protect themselves from contracting Covid-19. Only 1 out of 10 (13%) mention not wanting to spread the virus as the reason for their compliance with the operating procedures,” the report noted.
Violet Alinda, Twaweza Uganda Country Lead and Director of Voice and Participation explained that Covid-19 has intensified all of our existing social and economic challenges while bringing a whole new set of worries about our health and well-being.
“We see more stress, more violence and less food. We need to pay close attention to all Ugandans’ mental well-being during these very difficult times,” she said.
The Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, said the government is working hard to respond to all facets of the pandemic
“As this data and other evidence shows, this is a war with many fronts. We need Ugandans from all walks of life to support each other through this crisis. And we need to make sure we are aware of the effects on our mental as well as our physical health and well-being,”said Ainebyoona.
Some political analysts, notably Joseph Kabuleta. a former presidential candidate have called for removal of the lockdown saying it hurts Uganda’s socio economic fabric.
In a tweet in May, Kabuleta noted: “Anyone who suggests another lockdown is an expert in stupidity. Do these clowns know what damage was done to our fragile socio-economic structure by last year’s lockdown. Anyway, they know but they are profiteering from COFIT.”