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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 149-159

Perception and practices towards Covid-19 amongst residents in Southern Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Uyo; Institute of Health Research and Development, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital; Health Systems Research Hub, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Institute of Health Research and Development, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital; Department of Anaesthesia, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
3 Institute of Health Research and Development, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital; Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
4 Health Systems Research Hub, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
5 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christie Divine Akwaowo
Department of Community Medicine, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_554_21

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Background: Within a short duration, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread globally, affecting all facets of life and causing widespread panic. This study set out to assess the perception and practices towards COVID-19 of urban and rural residents in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design and multistaged sampling technique were used. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire between October and December 2020. Scores assessing perception and practices were allocated and graded based on specific stratified demarcations. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 822 individuals from the selected households were interviewed (urban: 401, 48.8%; rural: 421, 51.2%). Majority of respondents urban (99.8%) and rural (97.9%) were aware of COVID-19. Most respondents had low risk-perception of COVID-19 (62.4%), with significantly more rural respondents having low-risk perception (70.6% rural vs. 54.0% urban). The general perception of COVID-19 amongst the respondents was good (79.2%) with no statistically significant difference between urban and rural residents. Most of the participants had good practices towards COVID-19, with significantly higher proportion of urban respondents having good practice (93.8%) compared to their rural counterparts (83.1%). Amongst rural residents, high-risk perception was associated with higher proportion of good practice (93.4%) compared to 84.5% of low-risk perception (P = 0.015). Conclusions: The participants had high level of awareness, low risk perception, good general perception and good practices toward COVID-19. However, urban respondents showed better practices towards COVID-19. More attention should be directed towards improving COVID-19 perception and practices particularly amongst rural residents.


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