Slum dwellers are at increased risk of intimate partner violence and HIV as they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects
- People in informal settlements face disproportionally high risk of ill-health, including HIV & intimate partner violence (IPV).
- Shocks, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic and social lockdowns, interrupt existing services and worsen health status of vulnerable populations
- To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on IPV & HIV risk among women and men in a Nairobi informal settlement.
- Focus and design
- Data collection
- Data Analysis
- Slum dwellers face high risk of IPV – with men experiencing emotional and physical IPV and women experiencing physical and sexual IPV.
- IPV and HIV intersection occurs as a result of power differences and the use of ‘power over’ by those advantaged by gender, age, income, status, education, ability etc.
- As summarised in Figure 1, the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects amplified risk of IPV and HIV among female and male slum dwellers.
- Infection control measures triggered a cascade of reinforcing issues in informal settlements: limited access to income and services, aggravated hardship, and common – but highrisk – coping practices
- Through marginalisation and hardship, female and male slum dwellers were at increased risk of IPV and HIV during COVID-19.
- Intersecting inequalities, including female gender, young age, disability, sex work, unemployment, amplified IPV and HIV risk.
- As a result, long-term impact on physical and mental health, economic and social well-being of slum dwellers is expected.
- Adapt services safely to ensure continuous access to services and information during shocks, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Provide equitable social protection mechanisms.
- Strengthen social accountability mechanisms for aid delivery, including the involvement of representatives of beneficiary groups in selection procedures and provision of services.
Beate Ringwald, Veronicah Mwania, Miriam Taegtmeyer, Lina Digolo, Mary Muthoki, Faith Munyao, Lilian Otiso, Anne S. Wangui Ngunjiri, Robinson N. Karuga, Rachel Tolhurst, for the Korogocho ALIV[H]E research team.