MedRead Journal of Family Medicine

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Corona virus disease (covid-19); awareness, knowledge and misconceptions among patients seen in a primary care setting of a teaching hospital in ilorin, North Central Nigeria

Published on: 2020-06-15


Background: A pandemic of Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19), perhaps the most ravaging epidemic in contemporary history broke out in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China in December 2019 with a significant global mortality of over seventy-five thousand so far and over 1.4 million infected people and still counting. Covid-19 infections have been reported in 204 countries of the world so far. Nigeria so far, has two hundred and thirty two positive cases, thirty-three have been treated and discharged home and five deaths have been reported. Twelve out of the thirty-two states of the federation have reported cases of Covid-19. The World Health Organization on January 30, 2020 declared the Corona Virus outbreak a global health emergency This, was quickly followed on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization’s Director General’s official declaration of the novel Corona Virus Disease as a pandemic. In Nigeria it appears that knowledge of Covid-19 is generally low with associated paucity of data on the subject matter. The aim of this research was to assess the awareness, knowledge and misconceptions about Corona Virus Disease in Ilorin, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a hospital based, cross sectional, descriptive study of four hundred respondents who attended the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Family Medicine Department Out- Patients Clinic, from 3rd February through 31st March, 2020. A semistructured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographics, awareness, knowledge and misconceptions about Covid-19.
Results: The minimum age of the respondents was 20 years while the maximum was 80 years. The mean age was 43.3150 ± 17.11133. There were more female 344(86.0%) than male 56(14.0%). Majority were married 264(66.0%). One hundred and nineteen (29.8%) had primary education, 171(42.8%) had secondary school education, while 82(20.5%) were without formal education. They were predominantly Muslims 288(72%) and of Yoruba ethnic group 358(89.5%). Majority of the respondents were traders 131(32.8%) and only (14.0%) were students. Although 370 (92.5%) had heard of Covid-19, only 16 (4.0%) knew the numbers to call when Covid-19 was suspected. In addition, one hundred and fifty six (39.0%) had poor knowledge of Covid-19, 102(25.5%) had a fair knowledge, while 142 (35.5%) had good knowledge of Covid-19. Eighty eight (22.0%) thought Covid-19 was treatable. Three hundred and twelve (78.0%) knew that neither definitive drugs nor vaccine was available for the management of the disease. Twenty six (6.5%) of the 88(22.0%) who thought that Covid-19 was treatable believed that traditional medication could cure Covid-19. The major source of information was through the radio 313(78.2%) followed by 37(9.3%) from neighbours while health workers were responsible only for 32 (8.0%). One hundred and fifty eight (39.5%) believed that Covid-19 was an air borne disease, 32(8.0%) believed it was transmitted through mosquito bites and 26(6.5%) by bacteria. Eighty nine (22.2%) had the right knowledge of Covid-19 being of viral origin. Seventy nine (19.8%), 76(19.0%), 53(13.2%) believed that traditional healers, spiritual healers and bathing with salt and hot water respectively could treat Covid-19 successfully.
Conclusion: In Ilorin, North Central Nigeria, Covid-19 awareness is high, but comprehensive knowledge of Covid-19 is generally low with associated serious misconceptions. Radio is by far the preferred means for receiving information about the Corona Virus Disease. These public health gaps must be addressed to contain the pandemic that is currently ravaging the country even as at the time of writing this paper


Awareness; Knowledge; Misconceptions; Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19)