Knowledge, awareness and perception of health care workers towards COVID-19 in Southern Nigeria


  • Iso Precious Oloyede Department of Paediatrics, University of Uyo/University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 1136, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
  • Anyiekere Morgan Ekanem
  • Utibe David
  • Bassey Benjamin


COVID-19, Health care workers, perception, knowledge, awareness


Context: Severe acute respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 (SARS-COVID-19) is a novel worldwide pandemic. Health care workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contacting the infection.
Objective: To determine the knowledge, awareness and perceptions of HCWs towards COVID-19 in Southern Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire study carried out between May 2020 and July 2020. Healthcare workers responded to questions covering their sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge of transmission, cure and outcome of COVID-19. Other questions asked were their perception about contacting the disease, and their facility preparedness to handle the pandemic. Data was analysed using Stata version 13.
Results: A total of 366 healthcare workers completed the questionnaires. The mean age of respondents was 35.2 years. There were 209 (57.1%) males. Majority (44.5%) of the respondents were doctors. The top three symptoms identified by respondents were cough (97%), fever (92.9%) and sore throat (88%). Three hundred and sixty-four (99.5%) respondents had good level of knowledge of COVID -19. Two hundred and ninety (79.2%) of the respondents were worried about contacting COVID-19. Two hundred and thirty-five (64.2%) respondents said their facilities were not prepared to manage COVID-19 cases. Areas of concern were the absence of test kits and sample materials (70.5%), lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) (67.2%) and lack of dedicated intensive care units with ventilators (62%).
Conclusion: There was good knowledge of COVID-19 among HCWs. However, there was a high degree of anxiety of contacting COVID-19 among HCWs and concerns about a general lack of preparedness for COVID-19 management. We therefore recommend the adequate provision of PPE and improved testing.

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