Entering its 7th year, the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine is still active with 3.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded the ongoing crisis; as of August 30th the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had surpassed 100,000 in the country, including 1,733 confirmed cases in the Eastern Conflict Area. Actors including the World Health Organization (WHO) and oblast administrations expect that this is an under-representation of the situation, with levels of testing roughly equivalent to one confirmed case for every 14 tests completed, substantially higher than the WHO-recommended 5% positive samples. The population in Ukraine is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak, due to both an ageing population and high rates of chronic illness such as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, heart disease, diabetes and human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV). Between the Government and Non-Government Controlled Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (GCA and NGCA), elderly individuals account for almost one third (32%) of people in need – the highest proportion among humanitarian crises worldwide.
With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to increase nationally, community engagement in infection prevention and control (IPC) practices is essential to stemming the spread of the virus. Successful curbing of the infection rate will protect the most vulnerable members of society, as well as prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, in turn saving lives. To inform humanitarian partners responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Assessment (KAPA) was launched to evaluate the degree to which populations have access to and use information on COVID-19 and the recommended actions for reducing the risk of infection and transmission, and seeks to understand household attitudes towards COVID-19 messaging, uptake of recommended preventative practices, as well as access to essential healthcare services and water and hygiene materials required to observe IPC measures. Data collection was completed in partnership with Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) between 21 July and 10 August 2020. A total of 1,599 surveys were completed via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) using stratified simple random sampling of resident lists. Findings presented in this factsheet may not include answers such as "Don't know" or "Decline to answer" and total percentages may therefore not sum to 100%. The full activity terms of reference can be accessed at this link.