Gender Dimensions of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria

Publication Date: 26/07/2020

Author(s): Abdullahi Walla Hamisu, Sume Gerald Etapelong, Isiaka Hassan Ayodeji, Zakari Furera, Nuhu Ningi, Abdullateef Jimoh, Braka Fiona, Richard Banda, Sisay G. Tegegne, Augustine Ajogwu, Josephine Nwachukwu, Doris John, Saddiq Abdurrahman, Fatima Ahmed, Lawal Adesola, Nwachukwu Teresa.

Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 2 (2020)


Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic. Gender and health refer to the socially constructed differences and the power relations between women and men, as a determinant of health. Disease outbreaks aggravate gender inequalities for women and men. Women play important roles in curbing the current COVID-19 outbreak that put them at increased risk of exposure including working as frontline healthcare workers, caregivers at home, and as mobilizers in their communities. Other gender barriers that put women at risk include limited access to information, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, and other socio-cultural practices. Treating women and men equally is the right and smart thing to do, is entrenched in human rights and is in keeping with the United Nations’ System-Wide Action Plan for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Objective: The objective of this study is to highlight the significance and implications of COVID-19 gender analysis and sex-disaggregated data in the in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the COVID-19 database in the Public Health Department of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja with particular focus on the confirmed COVID-19 cases between the start of the outbreak on March 20, to May 31, 2020. We analyzed the data by age, sex, location, travel history and outcome. Results: The number of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases during the study period was 8,722 and 660, respectively. Of the 660 confirmed cases, 204 where females and 456 were males. The number of deaths was 10 out of which 9 were males. The mean age of all the confirmed COVID-19 cases was 35 years with a range of 6 months to 87 years. All the confirmed cases came from five (Municipal, Bwari, Abaji, Gwagwalada and Kuje) out of the six area councils of the FCT. A total of 70 of the confirmed cases had prior international travel history to areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Of these 70 with travel history, 44 were women. Conclusion: Men and women have the same COVID-19 prevalence, but men are more at risk of severe form of the disease including dying from it.

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