This ODI Country study draws out key findings on the impacts of Covid-19 on the mental health of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19, living in project locations in Tanzania.
Drawing on qualitative findings from a forthcoming research report, this country study explores the effects of Covid-19 across three closely inter-related dimensions and levels: (1) on individuals; (2) on families or households; and (3) beyond the household. From Tanzania, adolescents in Mwanza and Morogoro mentioned a range of factors that had affected their own mental health and well-being. Many are linked to school closures and to certain health measures implemented as a result of the pandemic.
- Adolescents in Tanzania experienced loneliness, stress and fear due to the uncertainties around their future, education, the local economy, and the threat of the coronavirus disease.
- An important factor that impacted mental well-being of adolescents, parents and the wider community, was their experience of the circulation of Covid-19 information. Contradicting and confusing information circulating on social media, or at the community level, led to feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Gendered impacts emerged, with girls more vulnerable to early marriage and unintended pregnancy, at times when pushed to work outside the home rather than stay ‘idle’, while boys struggled with lack of opportunity in the labour market and feelings of hopelessness in their local context.