Women's Narratives about COVID-19, Preventive Practices and Sources of Information in Northwestern Tanzania

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 15;18(10):5261. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18105261.


COVID-19 has affected millions of people across the world. We conducted a phone based qualitative study to explore women's perceptions of COVID-19, knowledge of its symptoms, transmission, and prevention practices in Northwestern Tanzania. We also examined their sources of information about the disease. Findings show that much of women's framing of etiology, symptoms, and transmission routes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) greatly reflects the World Health Organization (WHO)/Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) frame. Their preventive practices against COVID-19 included the biomedical, cultural, and religious frames, as participants engaged traditional practices and spiritual interventions alongside public health recommendations. Mass media was the main source of information about COVID-19, and one of the trusted sources, in addition to religious and local leaders. To be effective, health promotion programs on pandemics should make more use of the mass media, and communal networks to reach populations.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Tanzania; coronavirus; frame analysis; women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Public Health
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tanzania