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A Preliminary Assessment of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Knowledge and Perceptions in Nigeria

Rotimi Oguntayo
10 May 2020.
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20 juillet 2020

This study assessed knowledge and perceptions about COVID-19 among the general public in 5 Nigeria during the initial week of the pandemic lockdown in the country. From March 28 to 6 April 4, 2020, this cross-sectional survey used an anonymous online questionnaire to collect data 7 from respondents within Nigeria. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to 8 recruit 1357 respondents, aged 15-70 years, from 180 cities and towns within Nigeria. Study data 9 were analysed using descriptive statistics. Approximately more than half (57.02%) of the 10 respondents were male with high level of education (48.86% bachelor’s degree or higher). 11 Approximately half of the respondents (46.94%) opined that COVID-19 was “a biological 12 weapon designed by the Chinese government.” About 94% of the respondents identified “contact 13 with airborne droplets via breathing, sneezing, or coughing” as the most common mode of 14 transmission ; most respondents associated COVID-19 with coughing (81.13%), shortness of 15 breath (73.47%) and fever (62.79%). “Regular hand washing and social distancing” was selected 16 by most respondents (94.25%) as a way of preventing infection whereas 11.86% reported 17 “consuming gins, garlic, ginger, herbal mixtures and African foods/soups” as preventive 18 measures against COVID-19. Majority of the respondents (91.73%) thought COVID-19 is 19 deadly ; and most respondents (84.3%) got 4 or more answers correctly. It was also observed that 20 the traditional media (TV/Radio) are the most common source of health information about 21 COVID-19 (93.5%). Findings revealed that Nigerians have relatively high knowledge, mostly 22 derived from traditional media, about COVID-19. Their perceptions of COVID-19 bear 23 implications across public health initiatives, compliance with precautionary behavior as well as 24 bilateral relations with foreign nations. Evidence-based campaign should be intensified to 25 remove misconceptions and promote precautionary measures.