Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme

2 Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency

3 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

4 Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ondo State Ministry of Health

5 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

6 Nigeria Correctional Service, Canine Unit, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos

7 Department of Public Health, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja Nigeria

8 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, perception, and sources of COVID-19 information among Nigerian youths.
Methods:  We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study among 817 National Youth Service Corps members. Participants’ overall general knowledge about COVID-19 was assessed using nine questions that consisted of general knowledge on the cause, origin, mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, availability of a potent vaccine and specific therapy, prevention strategies of COVID-19 and knowledge of proper handwashing practices. P-values Results: The mean age of the respondents was 24.1± 2 years, 317 (41.2%) were males, and 73 (8.9%) had studied a health-related course. Of the 754 respondents who responded to the COVID-19 knowledge questions, 187 (24.8%) had general knowledge about COVID-19, while 280 (37.1%) had knowledge in all domains; mode of spread, symptoms and signs, and prevention of COVID-19. Among the respondents, 129 (40.7%) males had satisfactory knowledge of COVID-19 (p=0.070), while 38 participants (52.1%) who had studied a health-related course had satisfactory knowledge of COVID-19 (p=0.003). Regarding the knowledge of handwashing, 184 (58%) males displayed satisfactory knowledge (p=0.007). Social media (64.4%) and television (58%) were the main sources of COVID-19 information. Respondents who had studied a health-related course were twice likely to have satisfactory knowledge of COVID-19 (AOR=2, 95% CI=1.25-2.5 p=0.003,) and six times likely to have satisfactory knowledge of handwashing (AOR=5.6, 95%CI=3.3-10.0, p=<0.0001).
Conclusion: Utilization of both social media and the mainstream mass media in disseminating health education information and correcting fake news and misconceptions is needed. Health promotion strategies should be organized for all youths, especially among those who have no previous education in the health and allied courses.

Keywords

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