Early Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from the 2020 Guttmacher Survey of Reproductive Health Experiences

This report provides an initial look at newly collected data on the emerging impact of the pandemic on women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and reproductive autonomy in the United States.

It focuses on the following indicators:

  • Childbearing preferences
  • Contraceptive use
  • Access to contraception and other SRH services
  • Telemedicine for contraceptive care
  • Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV)

The authors conclude that even in the short period covered by our survey, the COVID-19 pandemic has already had an impact on women’s sexual and reproductive lives. It has affected their ability to obtain needed SRH care and contraceptive services, raised their concerns about affording and accessing this care and shifted their fertility preferences. These effects have not been evenly distributed and tend to be felt by groups bearing the brunt of existing inequities. In this way, the pandemic has illuminated systemic failings that perpetuate health and social disparities.

Source: Early Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from the 2020 Guttmacher Survey of Reproductive Health Experiences

    COVID-19 Exposes the Harsh Realities of Gender Inequality in Slums

    The COVID-19 pandemic is largely concentrated in cities and urban areas, with around 2,600 cities globally reporting at least one case of the disease. While the epicentre of the global health crisis is still Europe and North America, its impact on developing countries may be more devastating, especially for the poorest. The 1 billion+ people living in slums and slum-like settings in developing countries, where population density is high, are those most at-risk and least prepared.

    Most countries have responded with shelter-in-place orders, lockdowns and measures to curtail COVID-19’s spread. But slum-dwellers will have a hard time complying, as their overcrowded housing often lacks basic utilities, like water and sanitation. For women and girls who are slum-dwellers, the challenges are even greater as they face increased domestic violence (already being reported) and unpaid care burdens.

    Women aged 15 to 49 are overrepresented in urban slums and slum-like settings in 80 per cent of the 59 developing countries analysed in a Spotlight on Goal 11 paper, produced by UN Women and UN-Habitat. In Kibera, Kenya, the world’s fourth-most-populated slum – and where COVID-19 cases are highest in East Africa – there are 116 women for every 100 men. The figure is 120+ women per 100 men in Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti and Lesotho. In 61 per cent of the 59 developing countries analysed, more than half of women aged 15–49 live in slums.

    Source: COVID-19 Exposes the Harsh Realities of Gender Inequality in Slums

      Atelier d’évaluation et de ré-planification du plan d’action opérationnel intégré de la communication de risque 2020

      Ce document a été produit pour la coordination des activités des partenaires qui appuie la plateforme One Health dans le cadre de la communication de risque.

      Source: Atelier d’évaluation et de ré-planification du plan d’action opérationnel intégré de la communication de risque 2020

        Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection for Prevention of COVID-19

        Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 and is spread personto-person through close contact.

        The authors of this article aimed to investigate the effects of physical distance, face masks, and eye protection on virus transmission in health-care and non-health-care (eg, community) settings. They did a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the optimum distance for avoiding person-toperson virus transmission and to assess the use of face masks and eye protection to prevent transmission of viruses.

        The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis support physical distancing of 1 m or more and provide quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing to inform policy. Optimum use of face masks, respirators, and eye protection in public and health-care settings should be informed by these findings and contextual factors. Robust randomised trials are needed to better inform the evidence for these interventions, but this systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence might inform interim guidance.

        Source: Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection for Prevention of COVID-19

          Building Trust while Influencing Online COVID-19 Content in the Social Media World

          Because of COVID-19’s strict physical distancing measures, people are heavily reliant on maintaining connectivity using global digital social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, to facilitate human interaction and information sharing about the virus.

          In this article, the authors discuss some ways in which social media has undermined effective responses to COVID-19. They consider how various groups could respond to these challenges—especially government leaders, social media companies, and healthcare providers. Ultimately, these actors each have roles to play in preventing social media from being weaponised to sow distrust and further endanger public health, while also ensuring that social media can fulfill its essential civic function of facilitating good faith political expression and discourse.

          Source: Building Trust while Influencing Online COVID-19 Content in the Social Media World

            Social Media Rumour Bulletin

            Internews works with Translators without Borders and Standby Task Force to collect and analyse rumours and misinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease. Data is being collected in six languages across Asia including: Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia and Urdu. These bulletins are intended for use by journalists and community workers.

            This bulletin relies on social media data collected by monitors working for Internews and partner organisations. Data is collected both manually and with the use of specialist monitoring platforms. Content will focus based on key trends in social media data collected in our target language groups and aims to provide tools and resources to help journalists and community workers to respond to misinformation in their work.

            Source: Social Media Rumor Bulletin

              Promoting Social Distancing in a Pandemic: Beyond the Good Intentions

              Reminders to promote social distancing have been ubiquitous throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but little is known about their effectiveness. Existing studies find positive impacts on intentions to comply, but no evidence exists of actual behavioural change.

              The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial with a large representative sample of Danish residents who received  different versions of a reminder to stay home as much as possible at the height of the crisis.

              They found that the reminder significantly increases people’s intentions to stay home when it emphasises the consequences of non-compliance for the respondent or his/her family, while it has not impact when the emphasis is on other people or the country as a whole. Changes in intentions, however, translate into weaker changes in actions that are not statistically significant.

              This is consistent with the existence of important intention-to-action gaps. Only people who are in relatively poor health are significantly more likely to stay home after receiving the reminder with an emphasis on personal and family risks. This shows that while reminders may be useful to protect groups at risk by increasing their own compliance with social distancing, such a tool is unable to change the behavior of those who face limited personal risks but could spread the disease.

              Source: Promoting Social Distancing in a Pandemic: Beyond the Good Intentions

                YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

                The COVID-19 pandemic is this century’s largest public health emergency and its successful management relies on the effective dissemination of factual information. As a social media platform with billions of daily views,

                YouTube has tremendous potential to both support and hinder public health efforts. However, the usefulness and accuracy of most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 have not been investigated.  A YouTube search was performed on 21 March 2020 using keywords ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’, and the top 75 viewed videos from each search were analysed.

                The result was that over one-quarter of the most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 contained misleading information, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. As the current COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public health agencies must better use YouTube to deliver timely and accurate information and to minimise the spread of misinformation. This may play a significant role in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

                Source: YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

                  Public Health Communication in Time of Crisis: Readability of On-Line COVID-19 Information

                  The purpose of this study was to assess the readability of information on the Internet posted about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to determine how closely these materials are written to the recommended reading levels.

                  Using the search term “coronavirus,” information posted on the first 100 English language websites was identified. Using an online readability calculator, multiple readability tests were conducted to ensure a comprehensive representation would result.

                  The authors concluded that messages about COVID-19 must be readable at an “easy” level, and must contain clear guidelines for behavior. The degree to which individuals seek information in response to risk messages is positively related to the expectation that the information will resolve uncertainty. However, if the information is too complex to interpret and it fails to lead to disambiguation, this can contribute to feelings of panic.

                  Source: Public Health Communication in Time of Crisis: Readability of On-Line COVID-19 Information

                    A Coordinated Public-Private Sector Response in Liberia to COVID-19

                    In February 2020, the Healthcare Federation of Liberia (HFL) was officially launched and elected its first governing board. The HFL will provide coordination among all private health stakeholders across Liberia and act as a consolidated voice to advocate for improved quality of care and increased collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

                    The launch of the federation followed an assessment of Liberia’s private health sector, conducted by the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus project in 2019, which identified the need for a unifying body as a vehicle to improve the private health system. The HFL’s organizational strategy was to focus on strengthening standards within—and accreditation of—private facilities, providing access to business financing and supplies of essential commodities, such as for family planning.

                    However, on March 16, 2020, Liberia recorded its first COVID-19 case. As of April 10, Liberia has recorded 37 cases and five deaths. The most important task for the HFL in its first month of operation, therefore, became coordinating an effective private sector response to COVID-19.  This report tells the story of how Liberia responded to the pandemic.

                    Source: A Coordinated Public-Private Sector Response in Liberia to COVID-19