Psychological and social impact of the coronavirus disease on girls in a marginalised Odzi community in Zimbabwe.
Keywords:COVID 19, impact, Zimbabwean, marginalised community, Odzi community
The study explores the psychological and social impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)among girls aged between 14 and 19 years in the Odzi community of Mutare District, Zimbabwe. The qualitative research methodology was used and 20 participants were selected using the purposive sampling technique. Hytner's adapted phenomenological data analysis method was employed and the four dominant themes from the analysis were: Psychological impact of Covid-19 on girls from a marginalised community; Social impact of Covid-19 on girls from a marginalised community; girls’ vulnerability in the Covid-19 era; and lessening the impact of Covid-19 on girls from marginalised communities. The psychological impact of Covid-19 on the participants was experienced through excessive worry, symptoms of depression, fear, symptoms of anxiety, and helplessness. The social impact of Covid-19 was experienced in the form of child pregnancies and marriages; lack of basic necessities; child labour and vending, disrupted education, child-headed families, and death of loved ones. The research revealed that girls from marginalised communities were highly vulnerable during this Covid-19 era. Research findings further suggest psycho-education for parents and caregivers of girls, psycho-social support, provision of virtual learning gadgets, furniture, and stationery; food and other basic necessities, the establishment of low-cost boarding facilities, intensification of awareness education campaigns on sexual and reproductive health; sustainable income generating projects funding for parents and caregivers of girls from marginalised communities; and aid in the form of amenities, disinfectants, buckets, and soap.