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Community Health Care and COVID-19 Pandemic: Experimental Evidence from Uganda


  • Researchers:
    • Andrea Guariso, Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Cristina Clerici, and Jakob Svensson

  • Partners:
    • Living Goods, BRAC, IPA.

  • Location:
    • Uganda

  • Sample:
    • 4,000 households and 600 Community Health Workers

  • Timeline:
    • May – December 2020

  • Theme:
    • Health

  • Description:
    • In this study (registered in the AEA RCT registry 5874) we plan to do three things. First, by collecting novel data using phone surveys we will document both the extent of (self-reported) incidence of COVID-19 and the extent to which respondents adjust their health seeking behavior in response to the pandemic. This will allow us to estimate a more comprehensive measure of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in rural Africa that embraces morbidity and mortality from all conditions. Second, by exploiting the unique framework provided by an ongoing RCT, we will test whether an innovative Community Health Worker program is effective in reducing this shift away from effective preventive and curative treatments, and possible misconceptions about COVID-19, cushioning the overall impact of the current pandemic. Finally, we will implement a field experiment, focusing on households in the treatment group of the larger trial, where will test how different phone messages regarding COVID-19 and the importance of preventive and curative care more generally influence households health behavior and outcomes. The messages will have different behavioral framings and we will be able to look at both demand (households) and supply (health workers) constraints.