UNICEF BIH SURVEY RESULTS: Most citizens feel they are well informed about the coronavirus

Citizens support and adhere to the measures taken by the authorities to protect the population, and deem that testing for the presence of the coronavirus should be a priority; the younger citizens are concerned about the economic aspects of the consequences of the corona crisis; the concerns of the senior citizens are more focused on maintaining health

A survey on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) citizens' views, initiated by UNICEF, with the financial support of USAID in Bosnia and Herzegovina, conducted with 3000 adult respondents, in the period 22 – 28 April 2020. The aim of the survey was to  assess the level of information about the coronavirus COVID - 19, shortcomings in the flow of information and key sources of the most trusted information related to this  pandemic. .

More than half of the respondents, citizens of BIH (55%), consider themselves very well informed about the Covid-19, while 39% of citizens consider themselves to be somewhat informed. For the majority of citizens, by far the most significant source of information about the coronavirus is television (79%). In terms of importance, the digital media are next, headed by web portals of informative content (30%), social networks (23%), and informal sources of information, such as  the relevant social environment (15%). About 13% of respondents are informed about the coronavirus directly through the professionals - doctors, medics, etc., and  through the radio. When it comes to trust in government institutions involved in the process of combating the spread of coronavirus in BiH, citizens have the most trust in the representatives of the ministries of health. UNICEF is a trusted source of information, but “word of mouth“ - has the greatest weight in terms of information sources.

In general, citizens feel best informed about the ways to protect themselves against the coronavirus infection, while, on the other hand, they are the least aware of the referal mechanisms in case of suspected infection. With regards to question on symptoms, elderly people (age 66 and older) are the least familiar with the individual symptoms, among whom 12% has no knowledge about  the symptoms of the infection.

In the overall situation with the coronavirus, isolation tops the list as  hardest for  every other respondent, whilst worry and fear are the two dominant emotions which prevail in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic  in BiH. Care for the health of the loved ones is a priority for 71% of the respondents. They are primarily concerned with the health of family members, and only then express concern for their own health (38%).  39% of citizens are also worried about  financial situation of the household,  and the the economic aspect of the consequences of the coronavirus.

The citizens' discipline, in terms of adherence to the prescribed and recommended prevention measures, does exist, especially when it comes to the measures whose violation entails fines. 92% of citizens adhere to the mandatory wearing of protective face masks, and there is practically no adult in BiH who has not introduced more frequent hand washing (96%). Nine out of 10 citizens are  avoiding handshaking, home visits and more frequent use of disinfectants. But even in these cases (e.g. wearing a face mask, protective gloves, keeping the prescribed distance in interpersonal communication) there is still enough room for improvement.

The survey, in its content, is conceived in a way that it includes three units - knowledge, views and practices when it comes to the epidemiological situation in BiH. The survey was conducted by IPSOS and the results will also be used to produce television and other media content, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, through USAID – UNICEF collaboration.

The full report can be found here: https://wcmsprod.unicef.org/bih/en/reports/public-opinion-polling-bosnia-and-herzegovina-covid-19-response

Accompanying info-graphics can be found here: https://bosniaherzegovina.un.org/en/45982-info-graphic-awareness-attitudes-and-practice-citizens-bih-regarding-covid-19 

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund