The Covid-19 pandemic has been described as the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two (UNDP, 2020), with detrimental effects on global healthcare systems and human life. This has resulted in several effects including high morbidity, gender-based violence, and limited access to basic social services, requiring urgent multisectoral efforts through established social structures that are available. This project will investigate religious beliefs and current practices and identify opportunities to use their influence to help prevent Covid-19. Using the Population Health Surveillance (PHS) of the African Medical and Behavioral Sciences Organization (AMBSO), we will identify existing religious beliefs associated with Covid-19 infection and find out its related community practices arising from religious influence. We will also identify potential opportunities within religious structures that could support the control of the pandemic. Phone-based interview data will be collected from 330 previously surveyed participants to measure level of knowledge, attitudes, and opinions on Covid-19. In-depth Interviews will be conducted with 32 community and religious leaders to explore beliefs, practices, and impact related to the pandemic. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be done using STATA 16 and NVINVO 10, respectively. Information from this study will be used for strategic discussions with the National Covid-19 task force, Ministry of Health, and the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda about Covid-19 prevention strategies through the religious structure.
Dr., Research, Africa Medical and Behavioural Sciences Organization