The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of millions of people across the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic. Public health and social measures to control COVID-19 have been employed worldwide. Hand hygiene, physical distancing, mask use, and movement restrictions are among them (WHO, 2020). Yet, the effectiveness of these measures hinges on widespread public compliance. A number of studies showed that women are more likely than men to take COVID-19 measures seriously and cooperate with the mitigation efforts. The goal of this study is to assess how well men and women participants have stuck to these preventive measures in the Ethiopian context. Understanding health-related behavior will be crucial in tailoring public health communications accordingly in the future.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 385 participants residing in Debre Berhan town, Ethiopia, from September 10 - 14, 2021. The survey instrument is adapted and based on the evaluation of previously published materials. COVID-19 prevention practice was measured using yes/no questions; these inquiries mainly focused on the current COVID-19 preventive measures such as regular hand washing, averting of gatherings, avoiding handshaking and high-density places, utilization of alcohol sanitizer, and so on. Overall, public adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures is assessed with 11 questions. The data is transferred from a Google form to an excel spreadsheet and analyzed with STATA 14 data management and statistics software.
Women showed higher adherence with COVID-19 preventive measures (mean score of 8.89 with an SD of 1.55). This difference is statistically significant with a P-value of <0.01.
Our results showed that women’s adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures was higher than men’s. This finding suggests that the health information and communication strategies must be tailored to meet different sections of society. Gender must be considered as a significant aspect while designing and implementing health information and communication strategies. Check out the full report here.