Risk of COVID-19 Infection among Refugees in Uganda: A case study of Nakivaale Refugee Camp

Elizabeth Nansubuga, Makerere University

Refugee settlement camps are faced with limited knowledge on COVID-19 transmission/ prevention, inadequate hand washing facilities. Thus, it is critical to avert an outbreak of COVID-19 in refugee settings. The study was implemented in Nakivale Refugee camp in Isingiro district. A cross sectional study was undertaken using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. A sample size of 786 individuals were interviewed. Analysis was done at three levels: univariate, bivariate and multivariate using binary logistic regression (p value < 0.05). Majority were female (52%) with a mean age of 36 years. Persons who had a disability and one’s occupation were predictors of one’s COVID-19 risk. Access to water also determined of one’s perceived risk to COVID-19 infection among refugees. Women were at a higher risk of COVID-19 as they are the main users of the social service points - health facilities, food distribution points, and water service points. Thus, they are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in the refugee settings as compared to the men. Extra efforts have to be put in place to address gender concerns of women so as to reduce their perceived and potential risk; in addition to ensuring constant supply of water and soap.

Keywords: Refugees, COVID-19, Health and morbidity, International migration

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 62. COVID-19 and Migration