Preventing COVID-19 transmission in refugee communities in Uganda proved challenging because stringent public health measures were hard to enforce and the spread of misinformation and myths was rife. This study sought to deepen stakeholder understanding of how refugees in both rural and urban Uganda experienced the pandemic. The study observed gaps in knowledge among refugees and uncovered reasons for guideline non-compliance. It also revealed that the pandemic national response wasn’t suitable for refugee communities.
As a result of this research, the Ugandan government is now better equipped to implement public health measures in refugee communities. It has made amendments to the Public Health Bill, devolving power to local governments and recognising the essential role of other key actors (eg, non-medical personnel) in pandemic mitigation, to better meet the needs of refugees and other specific communities. Ugandan operational partners, and local and central government, were supported by the study to participate in multi-stakeholder dialogue, which directly informed adaptations to the COVID-19 response in Uganda.
R2HC captures detailed case studies through a process that triangulates and validates evidence on uptake and impact. The case study methodology and full version of this summary case study including references are available on request. Outputs and resources from this study are available on the project page.
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