Internally displaced persons and COVID-19: a wake-up call for and African solutions to African problems — the case of Zimbabwe

by Roda Madziva, Juliet Thondhlana, Evelyn Chiyevo Garwe, Moses Murandu, Godfrey Chagwiza, Marck Chikanza and Julita Maradzika

01 Apr 2021
Journal of the British Academy
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Number of pages
18 (pp. 285-302)

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Abstract: In this paper we engage with the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in two informal settlements in Zimbabwe, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We draw on an ongoing collaborative, interdisciplinary, and impact-oriented project that seeks to help IDPs to be better prepared to protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic. We start by providing an analysis of the existing COVID-19 preventative messages and their applicability to the IDPs’ situation, and further argue for the need to adopt Transformative Public Health Education (TPHE), to allow co-creation and co-production with IDPs in order to produce messages and interventions that suit their lived realities. We then move on to show the importance of leveraging local low-cost COVID-19 solutions, drawing on the example of the innovations that the project adapted in order to meet the needs of the IDPs residing in the two informal settlements.

Keywords: Internally Displaced Persons, COVID-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe, informal settlements, innovations.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 1 (Repositioning of Africa in Knowledge Production: Shaking off Historical Stigmas).

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