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Home / Health & Science

Youth believe God will protect them from Covid-19


Belief in God is one of the reasons seven in 10 youths do not think they are at risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 virus; a new report has documented.

A report by Amref Health Africa has also listed lack of travel history, youthfulness, hot weather and the claim that the virus is not in Kenya as the reasons behind youth branding themselves as immune to the virus.

The report titled Lived experiences of youth during the Covid-19 pandemic: implications for policy and programme considerations in Kenya states that 74 per cent of individuals aged 18-35 believe their risk is low of getting the virus.

Covid 19 Time Series


“Only 26 per cent of the youth (one in every four) perceived being at high risk of getting infected with Covid-19,” reads the report.

Of the 74 per cent, 43.3 per cent believe they are safe because they have not travelled, 9.5 per cent say they are young while 6.7 per cent have their trust in the hot weather. Less than 2.5 per cent of the youth respectively pegged their safety against Covid-19 to the claim that the virus is not in Kenya and that they are not white.

These findings were collected during an online survey conducted between April 30 and May 5 across all the 47 counties involving 2,153 youth.

“This was in April and we do not know if (this) has changed but you know from the laxity (in adhering to the containment measures) we see it could still be the case,” said Evalin Karijo, Project Director, Youth in Action (YAct) who presented the findings.

Karijo said globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected young people, many of whom are already grappling with unemployment, student debt and political instability, among other challenges.

“This situation is similar in the Kenyan context, where the social, economic and health challenges faced by youth have been thrust into the limelight following an increase in the prevalence of sexual violence, teen pregnancy and crime for example,” she said.

According to the report, if this age group was to self isolate in case they got infected, only four in 10 would have space (to self-isolate).

Reasons making it difficult to self isolate are and not limited to the fact that some live in a single room and cannot afford to lose income by getting larger quarters; some families share toilets and beds, and others simply have no place to self isolate.

‘‘Due to Covid-19, young people are faced with unimaginable threats related to education, employment, access to healthcare and disposable income.

Governments need to apply effective mechanisms and recovery measures to build resilience and expand social protection to avert further negative impact,” said Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa.

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