ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0060.v1
Online: 3 August 2020 (00:53:37 CEST)
Africa is gradually becoming an epicentre for the COVID-19 pandemic. From the current trends of the disease, Africa might be the last hardest hit continent. While scientific investigations are ongoing to develop effective management through medications and vaccines, existing knowledge, perceptions and attitudes could be harnessed to develop an effective strategy to curb community transmission of the COVID-19. The present study assessed the awareness level, perceptions and attitudes of people living in rural, peri-urban and urban communities in Northern Ghana and their preparedness for the prevention and containment of COVID-19. We conducted a face-to-face interview and administered 553 semi-structured questionnaires in eighteen (18) rural and peri-urban/urban communities under Tolon District, Kumbungu Districts, Sagnarigu Municipality, Savelugu Municipality and Tamale Metropolis from 23rd of April to 8th of June 2020. The percentage of male to female among the respondents was 56.8% and 43.2%, respectively. Nearly half (41%) of the respondents had no formal education and 91.3% of them were Muslims. Most of the respondents (85%) held the view that COVID-19 is a punishment from God. There was a significant difference (P<0.05) between the time rural and peri-urban/urban communities first heard of COVID-19. Majority (63%) of the rural respondents depended on radio, while the peri-urban/urban respondents (51%) relied on television for information on COVID-19. All respondents were aware of COVID-19 and 91.7% could mention at least two symptoms of the disease but 18% believed there was no COVID-19 in Ghana. Most of the respondents (69.6%) believed they will not contract the virus. Our findings may provide useful data to government and other stakeholders in the COVID-19 fight.