Public Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards COVID-19
A Cross-Sectional Study in Kogi State, Nigeria
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed countries to significant health challenges which required prompt implementation of new policies and practices to curb the virus’ spread. The success of these measures is linked to the people’s knowledge, attitude and practices towards the disease and it is key to determining their readiness to adopt behavioral changes. A cross-sectional online survey of 451 Kogi residents was undertaken between 6th October to 26th November 2020. The survey instrument consisted of demographic characteristics, 13 items on knowledge, 3 items on attitudes and 3 items on practices, modified from a previously published questionnaire on COVID-19. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, t-tests and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for analysis. A p-value less than 0.05 (p < 0.05) was considered statistically significant. The mean knowledge score was 9.6±1.7 for all participants. Most participants held positive attitudes toward the successful control of COVID-19 (72.5%), the ability of Nigerian government to conquer the disease (76.5%) and a few trusted the way the Kogi state government’s handling of the crisis (28.6%). Most participants were also taking precautions such as avoiding crowds (89.1%), wearing of face mask (71.6%) and practising proper hand hygiene (86.5%) in the week before the lockdown. Findings of this study brought to fore the importance of delivering consistent health information by the government and her agents as well as the need for tailored health education programs aimed at improving levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices across different settings. It also highlighted the need for the Kogi State government to put in more effort to handle the pandemic.