Pre-pandemic Influences on Kenyan Girls’ Transitions to Adulthood during COVID-19

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 Dept. of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA meb2308@cumc.columbia.edu
  • 2 Dept. of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA md3848@cumc.columbia.edu
  • 3 Population Council USA jpinchoff@popcouncil.org
  • 4 Population Council Kenya bkangwana@popcouncil.org
  • 5 Population Council Kenya kaustrian@popcouncil.org
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Abstract

COVID-19 containment measures have left adolescent girls in Nairobi, Kenya vulnerable to negative educational, economic, and secondary health outcomes that threaten their safe transitions into adulthood. In June 2020, the Population Council conducted phone-based surveys with 856 girls aged between 10 and 19 in 5 informal settlements who had been surveyed prior to COVID-19 as part of five longitudinal studies. We performed bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses to assess the relationship between COVID-19 outcomes and potential protective or risk factors. We found that younger girls are experiencing high levels of food insecurity and difficulty learning from home during school closures, while many older girls face the immediate risk of dropping out of school permanently and have been forgoing needed health services.

Contributor Notes

Meghan Bellerose (ORCID: 0000-0003-2281-8957) is an MPH student at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health. Email: meb2308@cumc.columbia.edu

Maryama Diaw (ORCID: 0000-0002-9675-758X) is an MPH student at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health. Email: md3848@cumc.columbia.edu

Jessie Pinchoff (ORCID: 0000-0003-3155-595X) is an Associate researcher at Population Council USA in the Poverty, Gender, and Youth program with the population, environmental risks and climate change (PERCC) initiative. Email: jpinchoff@popcouncil.org

Beth Kangwana (ORCID: 0000-0002-3013-2851) is a Senior Programme Officer at Population Council Kenya. She has conducted impact evaluations to understand how interventions can improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Email: bkangwana@popcouncil.org

Karen Austrian (ORCID: 0000-0001-5464-7908) is a Senior Associate at Population Council Kenya who has led several longitudinal, randomized trials evaluating the social, health, and economic effects of adolescent programs in East and Southern Africa. Email: kaustrian@popcouncil.org

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