Knowledge and sources of covid-19 information in nigeria during the covid-19 pandemic: a case study for evaluating outbreak health communication practices in nigeria
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Adekola Pathobiology and Population Science, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK United Kingdom
Nigeria Center for Disease Control Nigeria
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1640
Background and Objectives:
COVID-19 was recognised as a global health crisis in January 2020 and declared a pandemic in March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the advent of an outbreak like COVID-19, dissemination of accurate health information alongside measures to promote acceptance and adoption of public health guidelines is essential to prompt good health-seeking behaviours. The spread of facts and misinformation on COVID-19 in Nigeria highlights the need to examine people’s sources of information and their impact on beliefs, perceptions, and health-seeking behaviours. Our study evaluates the knowledge and sources of COVID-19 information amongst Nigerians during the initial wave of the pandemic as a case study for health communication practices and spread of false information during pandemics.

A cross-sectional survey was conducted via an online questionnaire between 19th May, 2020 and 18th June, 2020 for adults (≥ 16 years old) living in Nigeria with access to internet. Descriptive statistics and chi-square (χ2) were reported, while multivariable logistic regression was conducted to estimate the association between selected predictor variables and good COVID-19 knowledge.

International health organisations (73.9%) and health/public health workers (70.7%) ranked as the most reliable sources of COVID-19 information, and a lesser level of trust in government statements (40.6%) and social media sources (22.4%) was observed. Multivariable regression revealed some variables such as residential area, geopolitical zones, educational/professional background, and previous COVID-19 diagnosis as predictors of good COVID-19 knowledge.

Quality health information promotes proper health seeking behaviours. Misinformation promotes ignorance while preventing persons from taking proactive therapeutic and safety measures. It can also contribute to non-adherence to safety guidelines shared by governmental health organisations and other credible sources. Hence, it is pertinent that health communication during an outbreak is clear, factual, and specific to the context.

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