Information enclave and corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in remote areas: a case of Binga district, Zimbabwe

  • Carol Mhlanga
  • Taruvinga Muzingili
  • Cornelius Dudzai
  • Johanne Mhlanga

Abstract

While media has been voluminous in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; lack of access to key information has relegated rural communities in the developing world as one of the most at-risk  populations. Arguably, information has been a vital tool during the global crisis, carrying vital messaging on disease spread, transmission, treatment and management.  Information availability results in protective health behaviours without which communities succumb to devastating impacts of infectious disease. In Zimbabwe, communities in marginalised and hard to reach areas are the most susceptible to infectious disease, because of insufficient information on symptoms, progression, and actions to take towards treatment. Spurred on by the
global challenge presented by lack of access to information for rural communities in the developing world, the study makes a case of rural communities in Binga District, Zimbabwe. Through qualitative data collected from eight key informant interviews conducted via phone call with two grass roots organisations and 15 in-depth interviews with community stakeholders, the study establishes that some parts of Binga district rarely receive substantive messaging on COVID-19 disease prevention, identification, and  treatment. The authors encourage the use of models premised on indigenous structures to disseminate vital information on infectious disease in rural communities through traditional leaders, religious heads, and healers. Social work as a human and  service-oriented profession occupies a crucial space in the implementation as well as realisation of such  models.

Published
2021-10-01
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934