KNOWLEDGE OF COVID-19, RISK PERCEPTION AND PREVENTION PRACTICES AMONG RESIDENTS OF PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA
Elizabeth Onyi Okoh*, Christopher Ibrahim Maimagani, Ummikultum Adamu, Adakole Friday Okoh and Oluwabunmi Chirdan
Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, several efforts have been made to educate the public about the disease and the measures individuals can take to protect themselves. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, prevention practices and risk perception of COVID-19 among residents of Plateau State, Nigeria. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among adult residents of Plateau State using Microsoft forms. A snowball sampling technique was used to share the link of the questionnaire on WhatsApp platforms of Plateau residents from the three senatorial zones. Data was retrieved on Microsoft Excel and analyzed using SPSS 23. A total of 210 respondents participated in the study. More of the respondents were aged between 31-45 years (39.1%) and resided in the north central zone (57.1%) while 11.4 % were healthcare workers. Over 80% and 70% of respondents showed high knowledge of COVID-19 symptoms and preventive measures respectively. Over 80% practiced staying at home, frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizers and the practice of social distancing. Perception of risk for COVID-19 was absent among 25% and low among 47% of respondents. Higher risk perception was found among healthcare workers compared to non-healthcare workers.
The knowledge of and prevention practices for COVID-19 was found to be high among respondents but risk perception for the disease was generally low. Efforts should be intensified by government and other stakeholders to sensitize the public with accurate information about their risks and address misconceptions about the disease.
Keywords: COVID-19, Knowledge, risk perception, prevention practices, Plateau State.
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