Year : 2021  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

Ophthalmic Patients’ Perceptive on Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) Pandemic in Onitsha, Nigeria

1 Departmant of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi; Centre for Eye Health Research and Training, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Guinness Eye Centre Onitsha, Nigeria
2 Departmant of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi; Guinness Eye Centre Onitsha, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Sebastian N.N Nwosu
Guinness Eye Centre, PMB 1534 Onitsha Nigeria, PMB 1534 Onitsh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njo.njo_31_20

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Objectives To determine patients’ perception of COVID-19 and their practice of disease prevention measures. Materials and Methods: Consenting, consecutive new adult patients at the Guinness Eye Centre Onitsha were interviewed using a pretested questionnaire. Information sought included patients’ COVID-19 knowledge, its symptoms, transmission, preventive measures, compliance, and worries. Results: Of 81 participants, the mean age was 47.9 ± 17.6 years; 31 (38.3%) were males; 61 (75.3%) attained secondary or higher education. All participants knew about COVID-19; radio/television was the most common information source (88.9%). Although 85.2% participants knew that COVID-19 is a communicable disease, 86.4% knew of its viral etiology and 86.4% knew that it could be transmitted by close contact with persons/fomites. Common symptoms known to the participants were cough (82.7%), fever (61.7%), and breathlessness (55.6 %); the most common known preventive measures were wearing face mask in public (90.1%) and handwashing (82.7%). Although 44.4% knew that physical distancing was a preventive strategy, only 11.1% knew that the distance of separation should be at least one meter; 49.4% always wore face mask in public, 61.7% washed hands frequently, whereas only 4.9% maintained physical distancing; 44.4% worried that pandemic restrictions negatively affected their access to eye care and 29.6% feared contracting the disease in eye clinics. Conclusions: All study participants knew of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, knowledge of the disease, its transmission, and preventive measures was suboptimal; many patients do not adhere to the recommended preventive measures. Repetitive public health education is required to improve compliance with disease control measures and allay fears.

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