COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare and Education Workers: A Phenomenological Case Study in West Africa

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Felicity Tanko is an alumna of ASEC's Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program. She recently completed her degree in Nursing from ASEC partner institution, the Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda (CUCB). Sr. Felicity is a member of the congregation The Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

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The ASEC Research Initiative's 2nd COVID-19 research study related explores the impact on healthcare and education workers in the West African countries of Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria.

The ASEC Research Initiative has completed its second research study related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, entitled COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare and Education Workers: A Phenomenological Case Study in West Africa, is case study of two sectors involving healthcare and education workers in three countries of West Africa, namely Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria.

This phenomenological case study employed a mixed methods, cross-sectional survey design consisting of a 27 item questionnaire, distributed electronically via Survey Monkey. Employees from the two professions were sampled (N = 311) for comparison purposes, where services were brought to a halt in the education sector and deemed essential in the healthcare system. Participants in this study revealed that the impact of COVID-19 had similar patterns regardless of sector status - operational or closed. Pearson r, reveals a significant relationship between self-care and profession (p < .01). The t-test revealed a large effect size (d= .837) and significant differences in mental health knowledge when comparing professions (healthcare vs. education, p <.001).

Other aspects sought to determine the most trusted source of information on COVID-19, where television news emerged as the top. The WHO was deemed more trustworthy by study participants than information from the CDC and friends/social media were more trusted sources of information than governments. Implications for practice are also discussed.

This original research was submitted for publication in the Journal of Professional Studies on August 31, 2020 and is awaiting confirmation.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Tara Lopatofsky, Ph.D., CCLS

Tara Lopatofsky, Ph.D., CCLS
Program Manager, Monitoring & Evaluation (Research, HESA & Scholarships)  

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