The novel Coronavirus pandemic is causing widespread concern; fear, stress, and anxiety. In as much as these are natural human reactions towards situations such as this, its socio-economic distress to Kenyans cannot be understated.
The impact of the crisis on mental health of Kenyans is something the Government and relevant organizations should take seriously if recent report by Infrotrak is anything to go by.
A new study by Infotrak Research and Consulting has established that majority of Kenyans are anxious and stressed about the pandemic.
The study conducted between May 28 and June 2 also shows that majority Kenyans are finding a hard time sleeping due to the pandemic as a result of immense psychological stress and restlessness.
The report, released today shows that 81 percent of Kenyans are stressed and anxious about the current health crisis. It’s for this reason that consumption of news regarding Coronavirus, according to the report, has somewhat reduced with 78% saying they find news on the pandemic stressful while 48% find it confusing.
According to the report, 54 percent of employed Kenyans are facing financial challenges because their salaries have been reduced while 47% of all Kenyans intimated that they are currently depending on some sort of food donation or the other from well wishers.
The immense financial challenges has led to 60 percent of Kenyans nationwide being unable to pay their rent in full. A further 63 percent said that they were unable to pay their rent in time.
The situation is even dire for urban settlers where the country has registered high numbers of the Coronavirus infections. 72 percent of urban dwellers are unable to pay their rent in full while 74 percent of the respondents in the urban settlements unable to pay their rent in time.
72 percent of respondents said that they have not benefited from recent reduction of VAT from 16 percent to 14 percent by President Uhuru Kenyatta as one of the measures of cushioning Kenyans against the economic challenges of the virus.
87 percent of respondents said that the cost of food had gone up, while 68 percent of responded indicated that they were unable to buy adequate gas, electricity or even charcoal for cooking.