Population Council is implementing a rapid COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitude and Practice assessment of a representative sample of girls living in the catchment area of two skills-building programs. The two programs, 1) with UNFPA, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, and 2) with UNICEF and Ministry of Education/DSHE, are affiliated with “UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.” The objectives of the rapid assessment is to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of adolescent girls related to COVID-19 and track change over time, identify barriers to social distancing behavior change, and assess impact on lives and livelihoods. The multi-round phone-based survey (April 20-27) of 960 adolescent girls includes questions on age, education and marital status, knowledge and attitude regarding Coronavirus, disruption due to school closing, increased risk related to violence and mental health and resource need during lockdown. Researchers expect to include questions on service access for SRHR, questions of stigma associated disease acquisition, and compliance with social distancing in later rounds.
- Over 90 percent of adolescent girls correctly reported at least one common symptom; over 80 percent correctly identified that proximity to an infected person is a mode of contagion and that social isolation is a recommended preventive practice for COVID-19.
- Social distancing practices are not widely implemented, despite widespread awareness about the importance of avoiding contact with possibly exposed individuals, because of difficulties in distancing during daily activities.
- The lockdown policy is already having a clear economic impact. A high proportion of respondents reported food and resource scarcity and income loss.
- Many adolescent girls reported an increase in care-burden and household work and experienced the psychosocial impact of stress and isolation.
- Girls are adapting to remote learning. One in four girls are participating in a digital classroom initiative telecasted by the Government of Bangladesh.