Level of Social Stigma and Anxiety Disorders among COVID-19 Survivors in Kigali City, Rwanda

Research Article

Austin J Nurs Health Care. 2021; 8(2): 1064.

Level of Social Stigma and Anxiety Disorders among COVID-19 Survivors in Kigali City, Rwanda

Nikwigize S¹, Kayihura C² and Rutayisire E¹*

1Department of Public Health, Mount Kenya University Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

2Department of Nursing, Mount Kenya University Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

*Corresponding author: Erigene Rutayisire, Head of Public Health Department, Mount Kenya University Rwanda, Kigali City, Kicukiro District, Kigali, Rwanda

Received: October 18, 2021; Accepted: November 09, 2021; Published: November 16, 2021


Rwanda reported its first Covid-19 imported case on 14 March 2020. Psychologists intend to ensure social reintegration of Covid-19 Survivors but little is known on the magnitude of anxiety disorder and effect caused by fearing that outbreak from their families. The present study aimed to determine the level social stigma and anxiety disorder among Covid-19 survivors in Kigali City and cross sectional study design was conducted. A total of 425 Covid-19 survivors participated in the study. Data was corrected by Community Health Workers (CHWs) using structure interviewed questionnaire. Data has been analyzed using SPSS version 21. The study findings show that 50.6% of the respondents were male, 56% of respondents were married, 33.9% had secondary level of education, 67.5% were living with a range of 3 to 5 household members and the mean age of respondents was 37.5 years. Generally, results revealed that 50.1% of respondents presented high level of social stigma and 48.5% shown high level of anxiety disorders. It concluded that discontinued job had greater association with stigma and anxiety disorders and this means that they faced economic related challenges while they were sick and supposed to be confined to their houses. To address this health pattern, researcher recommends the Rwandan government and other partners find solution to people who lost their job due to Covid-19 and continue to provide financial support to the most vulnerable people. Community awareness about mental health problem for early detection and full management within health institutions need an improvement.

Keywords: Covid-19; Stigma; Anxiety; Covid-19 survivors


CHWs: Community Health Workers; COVID: Corona Virus Disease; WHO: World Health Organization


There are seven types of Coronaviruses that affect humans and the 2019 novel coronavirus is one of them and it leads to serious upper respiratory dysfunction which ends to Covid-19 disease. This virus can survive in air and transmitted via sneezing, close contact with infected person, coughing and the touching of contaminated surface or objects. The origin of this virus is Wuhan city, Hubei province to the China by December 2019, where a pneumonia with unknown etiology observed within a cluster of 27 new cases. A new stain of coronavirus was linked with pneumonia cases where the researchers found out that there has been a transmission of new disease from infected animals to humans especially within the open seafood market located in Wuhan city of China. Since that time (December 2019), the disease has spread to 221 countries and territories and other international conveyances then after declared as “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” in January and considered as a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. As of 30 June 2020, there are 10,421,490 cases of Covid-19 worldwide and have been 508,419 deaths with 5,679,143 recoveries [1,2]. The World Health Organization (WHO) together with authorities of China started working hand in hand and a new etiological agent was recently established to be a new virus and was named Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) [3].

Initially, less having more information from the population on the earth, this caused much fearing and stressfulness due to its highest spread between cities, then countries and suddenly becoming a pandemic disease within two months [4].

Its epidemiology is complicated by the highest incidence rate where the new Covid-19 cases keep increasing and manywice multiplied from its beginning. Social stigma in health context is undesirable association between either interpersonally or cluster of people with the same behavior and distinctive disease. In the case of an outbreak, this means disapproval of, discrimination against, separation in terms treatment and stemming from a negatively viewed personal attribute which may results in disease related spoiled identity. Covid-19 pandemic, has brought about some distinct treatment within the society for those who has been in contact the virus [5].

The high transmission of Covid-19 caused numerous impacts as well as economic and financial disruption due to its prevention and control measures. Forced quarantine and lockdowns have been initiated nationwide to fight for Covid-19 can end up with mental disorder as well as depression, acute panic, fearing and anxiety disorder in the extend period and different platforms of social media and excessive amount of information concerning to health problems of Covid-19 considered as stimulation of stigmatization [6].

Much fearing of Covid-19 which is coronaphobiahas gave rise to a glut of mental problems within the society. So, this review has been undertaken to define psychosocial impact of Covid-19 [4].

Materials and Methods

Data collected using structured questionnaire which conceptualized based on research objectives to answers each of research questions. This research questionnaire contains the dependent variable which enables research to determine the level of stigma and anxiety disorders (first research question of this study) among Covid-19 survivors in Kigali city.

This study used cross-sectional study design which is suitable for prevalence studies. This study design helped researcher to collect quantitative data to enable answer on the total number of Covid-19 survivors with stigma and anxiety disorders helping researcher to determine the magnitude of social stigma and anxiety disorder among Covid-19 survivors in Kigali city.

As Covid-19 pandemic is still there and its survivors keep increasing date to date and even, more cases are reported from Kigali city. Therefore, target population in this study was Covid-19 patients recovered and discharged from Rwanda Covid-19 treatment centers and or from home based care for Covid-19 in Kigali City from 14 March 2020 to 31st July 2021 period. The estimated sample was 385 Covid-19 survivors and researcher added 10% which was considered as no response rate in this study, and the total sample size was 425 individuals.


Those are socio-demographic characteristics of 425 respondents all reached and data collected using questionnaire through face to face interview.

The Table 1 shows that 215(50.6%) were male and 210(49.4%) were female. For marital status, the high number of participants are married with a total number of 238(56.0%) followed by single of 123(28.9%) while lowest number of 8(1.9%) are divorced. Around 144(33.9%) have secondary education level, 122(24%) have primary level of education while 59(13.9%) have university level of education. 287(67.5%) are living with a range of 3 to 5 household members.