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COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan African Countries: Association between Compliance and Public Opinion

Chikasirimobi Goodhope Timothy, Deborah Donald Charwe, Uchechukwu L Osuagwu, Chundung Asabe Miner, Emmanuel Kwasi Abu, Godwin Ovenseri-Ogbomo, Piwuna Christopher Goson, Raymond Langsi, Bernadine Ekpenyong, Richard Oloruntoba, Obinna Nwaeze, Tanko Ishaya, Khathutshelo Percy Mashige and Kingsley Agho

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 2, 91

Abstract: BACKGROUND- The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created a global public health crisis and non-compliance with public health measures to contain the infection poses a challenge to Sub-Saharan African governments. This study investigated the associations between compliance and public opinion on COVID-19 public health containment measures across selected SSA countries. METHOD- Anonymous online cross-sectional survey was administered to 1779 adults (18 years and older) during the mandatory lockdown period in most African countries (April 18 - May 16, 2020). Respondents were recruited via Facebook, WhatsApp, and authors' networks. Data on participants’ socio-demographics, their opinions regarding the precautionary measures against COVID-19, and their compliance with preventive measures were collected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between compliance and public opinions about COVID-19. RESULTS- Respondents who did not think that public health authorities in their countries were doing enough to control the C0VID-19 outbreak were more likely to attend crowded places (aOR 1.75, 95% CI 1.30-2.35). Those who thought COVID-19 would not remain in their countries (aOR 0.48, 95% CI 0.24 - 0.96) and those who thought self-isolation is not needed during the pandemic (aOR 0.29, 95% CI 0.13 - 0.65) were less likely to encourage others to comply with the strategies put in place to prevent the spread of the disease. Participants who thought the COVID-19 outbreak was dangerous and those wearing medical masks were found to wash their hands with soap under running water. CONCLUSION- The study showed that public opinion influenced the compliance of individuals to public health measures for containment and mitigation of COVID-19. There is a need to improve compliance by the public.

Date: 2021
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