ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0185.v1
Online: 14 June 2020 (16:06:03 CEST)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an emerging viral infection, is impacting the social, economic and political patterns of the world. To contain the spread of this pandemic, Nigeria like many countries globally, has imposed drastic preventive measures such as physical distancing and lockdown/curfew. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and perception (KAP) about COVID-19 among members of staff of a university community in southwest, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey using an anonymous, self-designed, online KAP questionnaire was conducted from April 18 to May 31, 2020. Purposive and chain referral sampling techniques were used to recruit respondents from the teaching and non-teaching categories of the university. The KAP questionnaire consisted of ten knowledge questions regarding the identification of clinical characteristics, transmission and prevention of COVID-19. The questions on attitude (15) and perception (10) assessed respondents on adherence to policies and their views on government efforts to contain the spread of the infection respectively. A total of 125 (teaching) and 102 (non-teaching) staff responded. The respondents had scientific (78.8 %) and non-scientific (28.2 %) work background. Approximately 59.1 % of the respondents were males. The mean knowledge and positive attitude levels were 70.8 % (SD ± 9.6 %) and 83.1 % (SD ± 13.07 %) respectively. Significant differences in the knowledge mean scores were observed for demographic categories such as educational qualification (p = 0.0006), staff work category (p = <0.0001), work background (p = <0.0001), and type of lockdown (p = 0.0271). Most of the respondents (85.3 %) opined that COVID-19 was a biological weapon and viewed the lockdown as necessary (81.5 %). However, they thought that the Nigerian government was not doing enough to mitigate COVID-19 spread. The perception of COVID-19 in the university community bear implications across public health initiatives, compliance with precautionary behaviour and bilateral relations with foreign nations.