Risk assessment of coronavirus disease lockdown on psychosocial support delivery: Eswatini caregivers’ perspective

Happyson Bimha ., Patronella Bimha ., Sibusiso Makhanya .

Abstract


Purpose of the Research: The purpose of the research was to assess the risks of delivering psychosocial support to orphaned and vulnerable children and the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on same. Methodology: Caregivers who are pivotal in managing national care points in Eswatini were targeted in the assessment. A questionnaire was developed based on the identified four risks (material, manpower, machine and technology, and methods risks). Respondents were required to indicate on a five-point Likert scale, probability of the risks happening (very low=1 point to very high=5 points), the impact risks could cause (very low=1 point to very high =5 points), and impact of COVID-19 on psychosocial support using a scale of insignificant=1 point to critical=5 points. Data were collected through WhatsApp and e-mail from 109 (a 72.67% response rate) caregivers between August and December 2020. Data were statistically analyzed based on means and standard deviations. Findings: Results showed that all the four assessed risks had high chances of happening, could have a high impact on psychosocial support delivery, COVID-19 exacerbated the situation, and authorities imposed restrictive measures which included the closure of national care points. Implications: Major implications for the study are that identifying critical risks could help in prioritizing the risks when planning and allocating resources, lack of strategies to mitigate psychosocial support risks, and their impact threatened the viability of national care points and ultimately vulnerable children. The researchers view the closing of national care points like closing vulnerable children out of food and care, which worsened their predicament. The research recommends accurate assessment of psychosocial support risks and evidence-informed decisions which take into account the special circumstances of disadvantaged children. Originality: The researchers do not have knowledge of any previous studies that studied risks associated with COVID-19 lockdown effects on psychosocial support delivery.

Keywords


Caregivers, coronavirus disease, neighborhood care points, psychosocial support, risk assessment

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