EFFECTS OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ON GASTROINTESTINAL COMPLICATIONS AMONG NIGERIAN POPULATION
David Adesanya Ofusori*, Adebimpe Esther Ofusori and Babatunde Elijah Arayombo
Background: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of COVID-19 lockdown on patients with gastrointestinal complications among Nigerian population with the aim of mitigating similar challenges in future. Methods: The study was an online based cross-sectional survey which involved the use of online based questionnaire survey to harness the relevant information from participants. Participants were Nigerian citizens across the country between 20 and 80 years old. A total number of 542 participants took part in the study. Data collection included both independent and dependent variables. All the responses were extracted from Google Forms and exported to a Microsoft Excel Sheet for proper cleaning and analysis. Results: The result showed that out of a total number of 542 participants 45.6% were males and 54.4% were females. 27.7% of participants experienced gastrointestinal tract complications during the COVID-19 lockdown with 39.9% depending on self-medication for the immediate relief of their gastrointestinal tract ailment(s). About 67.9% of participants had their jobs affected during COVID-19 lockdown while the financial strength of 70.8% of the participants were grossly affected. 54.6% of participants’ medication purchasing power were affected during the lockdown and about 39.5% could not have regular appointment with their physician. After the easing of the lockdown, only 33% of the participants were able to keep appointment with their physician. About 56.8% of participants experienced weight gain during the lockdown. Conclusions: This study concluded that a reasonable number of Nigerian population suffered gastrointestinal tract complication(s) during the COVID-19 lockdown with some unable to access health facilities probably due to the restriction of clinic appointments to emergency cases alone. The easing of lockdown did not abate the suffering of these patients either due to financial incapacitation or fear of contracting the disease. It will therefore be good if government can make life more bearable for other non-COVID-19 related ailments especially patients with gastrointestinal tract complication(s) by dedicating some health facilities to them, subsidising drugs related commodities as well as providing financial support that could assist patients with gastrointestinal tract complication(s) have access to healthcare facilities during future pandemic to mitigate morbidity and mortality rates.
Keywords: COVID-19, Gastrointestinal complications, Lockdown, Nigeria, Patients.
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