As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in low resource settings across the globe, there is an urgent need to understand adolescents’ perceptions about COVID-19, especially their awareness of social distancing/isolation rules, sense of personal vulnerability, and barriers to these measures. It is also important to understand the health consequences of such policies. As the pandemic recedes, young people living in poor urban communities are likely to face dire economic conditions, altering their educational opportunities and aspirations, and their health and wellbeing. In particular, these vulnerabilities may alter adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health trajectories.
To understand how best to address adolescents’ needs both during and after social distancing, we propose conducting a mixed-methods study using the existing infrastructure of the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS) to address the following questions:
- How did adolescents experience social distancing and educational disruptions? What buffers exist in their families and communities?
- How are their families impacted, including health and financial well-being?
- What types of supports do adolescents need to cope with COVID-19 and its aftermath?
- And ultimately, how will COVID-19 alter young people’s health and future educational and social trajectories?