Perception Of Covid-19 Among Rural Communities Of Nigeria


Perception Of Covid-19 Among Rural Communities Of Nigeria


Background to the Study

The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan China in December 2019, has rapidly spread to almost every region of the world. The disease is caused by a new and severe type of Coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2). The infection has no immediate treatment and vaccine, and it has according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2020) become a worldwide pandemic causing significant morbidity and mortality. There are 1,603,428 confirmed cases, 356,440 recoveries from the illness and 95,714 deaths worldwide as of April 9, 2020 (Worldometers, 2020). On February 27, 2020, an Italian citizen became the index case for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as at April 9, 2020, there were 288 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria with 51 discharges and 7 deaths (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, 2020).


To prevent further spread of the virus, civil societies and government agencies embarked on enlightenment campaigns for good hygiene and social distancing. Temperature screening was conducted at airports and those returning from countries with numerous confirmed cases of COVID-19 were implored to self-isolate. The NCDC in association with State governments also began tracing and tracking of possible victims and their contacts. On March 18, 2020, the Lagos State government suspended all gatherings above fifty people for four weeks and ordered all lower and middle level public officers to stay-at-home (Ewodage, 2020). Similarly, the Federal government, on March 30, 2020 introduced various containment strategies such as closing of the national borders and airspace, schools, worship centers and other public places, canceling of mass gathering events and placing the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states on lock down for an initial period of fourteen days (Radio Nigeria, 2020). Covid-19 testing laboratories were set up in Lagos, Abuja and Irrua in Edo State while State governments opened isolation centres and imposed dawn to dust curfews in their territories.

COVID-19, from the family of Coronavirus (others include SARS, H5N1, H1N1 and MERS), is a contagious respiratory illness transmitted through the eyes, nose, and mouth, via droplets from coughs and sneezes, close contact with infected person and contaminated surfaces. It has an incubation period of approximately one to fourteen days. The symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath, and it is diagnosed through a laboratory test. The contagion could lead to severe respiratory problems or death, particularly among the elderly and persons with underlying chronic illnesses. Some infected persons however, are carriers for the virus with no symptoms while others may experience only a mild illness and recover easily (Sauer, 2020). As there is currently no cure or vaccine for the COVID-19; medical treatments are limited to supportive measures aimed at relieving symptoms, use of research drugs and therapeutics.

Perception of infection pathways and relevant precautions to take is needed to control the pandemic. While the scientific community continues to research possible vaccines or drugs for the viral infection, it is expected that adequate perception will motivate individuals to make decisions which may prevent and curb the epidemics. Perception such as regular hand washing,  using hand sanitizers, wearing face masks, respiratory etiquettes, social distancing and self- isolation when sick are vital to reducing widespread infection (Leppin & Aro, 2009). Studies (e.g. Brug, Aro, Oenema, de Zwart, Richardus & Bishop, 2004; Choi & Yang, 2010; Hussain, Hussain & Hussain 2012) revealed that individuals’ level of perception about an infectious disease can make them behave in ways that may prevent infection. Consequently, individuals may need to be informed about the potential risks of infections in order to adopt the right precautionary measures (Brug, Aro & Richardus, 2009).

At early stages of a pandemic, precautionary measures are needed to protect against possible danger and curtail the disease spread. In line with this therefore, the Nigerian government (just like other governments around the world) introduced various containment strategies which have interfered with individuals’ daily lives and have led to severe economic loss and social disruption. People were coerced to stay at home, businesses and offices were closed, exempting healthcare facilities/workers and ―essential‖ commercial establishments. For Nigerians making a living in the informal economy, their livelihood is now threatened by the lockdown since much of their activities and businesses involve face-to-face contact. In Nigeria there is no social safety net, no access to food stamps or unemployment benefits, most people earn their living on a daily basis. Regardless of this however, there has so far been a high degree of compliance with the government directives, Nigerians are engaging in vigilant hand washing, practicing social distancing and self-isolation, and avoiding going to work, school or crowded areas. Even most religious leaders agreed to stop large gatherings, forbid the shaking of hands and directed church members to pray at home and use hand sanitizers (Makinde, Nwogu, Ajaja & Alagbe, 2020; Olatunji, 2020).

Statement of the Problem

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Research Questions

The present study is guided by the following questions:

  1. What is the perception of Nigerians about the source of COVID-19?
  2. What is the perception of Nigerians about the mode of transmission of COVID-19?
  3. What is the perception of Nigerians about the symptoms of COVID-19?
  4. What is the perception of Nigerians on preventive behavior toward COVID-19?
  5. How fatal do Nigerians perceive COVID-19?
  6. What are the major sources of information about COVID-19 among Nigerians?

Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of the study is to Investigate

Perception Of Covid-19 Among Rural Communities Of Nigeria

The study have the following specific objectives thus;


  1. To examine the perception of Nigerians about the source of COVID-19
  2. To investigate the perception of Nigerians about the mode of transmission of COVID-19
  3. To ascertain the perception of Nigerians about the symptoms of COVID-19
  4. To examine the perception of Nigerians on preventive behavior toward COVID-19
  5. To critically examine how fatal do Nigerians perceive COVID-19
  6. To investigate the major sources of information about COVID-19 among Nigerians


Scope of the study

The scope of the present study is on the areas of Perception Of Covid-19 Among Rural Communities Of Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

This study will provide an insight into…………Attention: The significance of the study is protected because this is a premium work, pay N4500 to unlock the full chapters from 1-5 with references

Limitations of the study

Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.

Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.

Definitions of Terms

Virus: A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea

Pandemic: A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu.

Epidemic: An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time. For example, in meningococcal infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic

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