The need to combat stigmatizing dogmas in the midst of the novel coronavirus disease (nCOVID-19) pandemic

  • Anthonio Adefuye Division of Health Sciences Education, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • Markes Butler Free State Provincial Disaster Management Centre, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Free State Province, South Africa.
  • Henry Adeola | Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Stigmatization is a putative structural barrier to health-seeking behaviour, and radical education of the populace is crucial to ameliorate its detrimental effects. Even before the classic work of Erving Goffman in 1963 on the social psychology of stigma, the practice of fear and avoidance because of the presence of a disease, in particular infectious diseases and in some cases non-infectious disease has been in existence in many societies. Similarly, infectious disease stigmatization – a standardized image of the disgrace of certain people that is held in common by community at large, on account of being ill by an infectious disease – has co-existed with human nature both in the pre- and post-modern era. At present, the ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created fear and anxiety in many communities globally and this has led to the widespread resurgence of social stigmatization. Instances of prejudice, racial discrimination, the rise of anti-foreigner sentiments and the blaming of certain groups of people for the spread of COVID-19 has been documented in many parts of the world [...].



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Letters to the Editors
COVID-19, Stigma, health-seeing behaviour, access to healthcare, health education
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How to Cite
Adefuye, A., Butler, M., & Adeola, H. (2020). The need to combat stigmatizing dogmas in the midst of the novel coronavirus disease (nCOVID-19) pandemic. Journal of Public Health in Africa.