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Original Articles

Perceptions of the current COVID situation and health, social and economic impact of the current scenario among a rural setting in Anuradhapura district

Authors:

Pubudu Chulasiri ,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Thilanga Ruwanpathirana,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Nalika Gunawardena,

World Health Organisation, LK
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Champika Wickramasinghe,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Buddhi Lokuketagoda

Ministry of Health, LK
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Abstract

Background

Sri Lanka used a holistic approach with many stringent measures to successfully control COVID-19. The paper provides a snapshot of a rural farming community’s understanding of COVID-19 and their experiences in relation to the efforts of the Government. 

Methods

A cross-sectional study among 731 farming adults in the Anuradhapura District with data collected through telephone interviews.

Results

One-third were 41-50 years of age (37.1%). Almost all identified the symptoms of COVID-19 (97%-96.7%) and main modes of spread (87.2%-97.5%) but the possibility of transmission by asymptomatic persons was less known (51.7%). A great majority (95%-98.8%) accurately identified the main methods of preventing COVID-19.  The most prevalent myths were consuming alcohol to prevent COVID-19 (84.5%) and children/young adults not being susceptible (83.6%). Television was the commonest source of information (96%). Social media was not popular. Two-thirds (66.2%) with non-communicable disease received medications delivered to their home during locked-down periods. No participant (0%) reported food shortages and primary/secondary school education had continued through print material delivered to homes.  One-third (35.2 %) were financially worse off and three-fourths (75.8%) were not able to continue farming activities due to lack of pesticides/insecticides (36.7%) and fertilizers (39.4%).

Conclusions

This rural farming community demonstrated a good understanding of COVID-19 and their experiences related to accessing essential health services were fair

How to Cite: Chulasiri, P., Ruwanpathirana, T., Gunawardena, N., Wickramasinghe, C. and Lokuketagoda, B., 2020. Perceptions of the current COVID situation and health, social and economic impact of the current scenario among a rural setting in Anuradhapura district. Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, 7(2), pp.E123 1–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jpgim.8298
Published on 30 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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