A path toward disability-inclusive health in Zimbabwe Part 2: A qualitative study on the national response to COVID-19

African Journal of Disability

Field Value
Title A path toward disability-inclusive health in Zimbabwe Part 2: A qualitative study on the national response to COVID-19
Creator Smythe, Tracey Mabhena, Thubelihle Murahwi, Shepherd Kujinga, Tapiwanashe Kuper, Hannah Rusakaniko, Simbarashe
Subject health care access; disability; health system disability; COVID-19; Zimbabwe; qualitative; equity; Missing Billion; inclusion; health system; health access
Description Background: People with disabilities are at higher risk of adverse coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes. Additionally, measures to mitigate COVID-19 transmission have impacted health service provision and access, which may particularly disadvantage people with disabilities.Objectives: To explore the perspectives and experiences of people with disabilities in accessing health services in Zimbabwe during the pandemic, to identify perceived challenges and facilitators to inclusive health and key actions to improve accessibility.Methods: We used in-depth interviews with 24 people with disabilities (identified through purposive sampling) and with 10 key informants (from expert recommendation) to explore the impact of COVID-19 on access to health care. Interviews were transcribed, coded and thematically analysed. We used the disability-inclusive health ‘Missing Billion’ framework to map and inform barriers to inclusive health care during COVID-19 and disparities in outcomes faced by people with disabilities.Results: People with disabilities demonstrated good awareness of COVID-19 mitigation strategies, but faced difficulties accessing COVID-19 information and health services. Challenges to the implementation of COVID-19 guidelines related to a person’s functional impairment and financial ability to do so. A key supply-side constraint was the perceived de-prioritisation of rehabilitation services. Further restrictions on access to health services and rehabilitation decreased an individual’s functional ability and exacerbated pre-existing conditions.Conclusion: The immediate health and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities in Zimbabwe were severe. Government departments should include people with disabilities in all communications and activities related to the pandemic through a twin-track approach, meaning inclusion in mainstream activities and targeting with specific interventions where necessary.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor AHRC
Date 2022-05-30
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — qualitative research
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.991
Source African Journal of Disability; Vol 11 (2022); 13 pages 2226-7220 2223-9170
Language eng
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https://ajod.org/index.php/ajod/article/view/991/1821 https://ajod.org/index.php/ajod/article/view/991/1822 https://ajod.org/index.php/ajod/article/view/991/1823 https://ajod.org/index.php/ajod/article/view/991/1824
Coverage Zimbabwe May - June 2021 disability
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Tracey Smythe, Thubelihle Mabhena, Shepherd Murahwi, Tapiwanashe Kujinga, Hannah Kuper, Simbarashe Rusakaniko https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0