Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Just above half of residents in Harare are adhering to recommended practices against Covid 19 despite a majority of them having the necessary knowledge on what is expected of them in containing the pandemic that has so far claimed 34 lives across the country.
A study titled: Covid 19 knowledge, practices and attitudes conducted by Harare’s City Health department in recent months showed that most people were not practicing preventive measures such as physical distancing, correct wearing of face masks and basic hygiene that include washing hands with a detergent or alcohol based sanitiser regularly.
Funded by the Bloomberg Foundation, the study revealed that while 96 percent of the population in Harare had knowledge on Covid 19 as far as prevention, containment and treatment was concerned, only 60 percent were actually practicing what they know.
In addition, the study also found out that and 80 percent had good attitude in terms of risk perception, but still practice was poor.
City health epidemiologist Dr Kudzai Masunda said these findings call for more engagements with residents on why they were finding it difficult to practice measures they know could serve them from getting Covid 19.
“Our people have excellent knowledge about Covid 19, they have good attitudes but there are poor practices. They know about masks but they are not wearing them and this is prevalent outside the central business district,” said Dr Masunda.
He said some of the bad practices could be a result of social economic issues making it difficult for families to maintain practice what they know works, for example issue of maintaining one metre physical distancing between each other.
“There is need for further engagement with residents to establish why they are not practicing what they know and possibly come up with better solutions to enhance our response to Covid 19,” said Dr Masunda.
He said results of the study will also be used to further strengthen the City’s response against Covid 19.
To date, 2 512 people have been diagnosed of Covid 19 in Zimbabwe, a majority of which are from Harare and Bulawayo.