University Lecturers and Students Could Help in Community Education About SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Uganda

Article Authors: Isaac Echoru, Keneth Iceland Kasozi, Ibe Michael Usman, Irene Mukenya Mutuku, Robinson Ssebuufu, Patricia Decanar Ajambo, Fred Ssempijja, Regan Mujinya, Kevin Matama, Grace Henry Musoke, Emmanuel Tiyo Ayikobua, Herbert Izo Ninsiima, Samuel Sunday Dare, Ejike Daniel Eze, Edmund Eriya Bukenya, Grace Keyune Nambatya, Ewan MacLeod, Susan Christina Welburn

Abstract

Background: The World Health Organization has placed a lot of attention on vulnerable communities of Africa due to their chronically weak health care systems. Recent findings from Uganda show that medical staff members have sufficient knowledge but poor attitudes toward coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and preparedness/practices of lecturers and students in the fight against COVID-19.

Method: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 103 lecturers and students both men and women of age group 18 to 69 years in western Uganda. Data were obtained through a pretested questionnaire availed online.

Results: Knowledge on COVID-19 symptoms was highest in this order: fever > dry cough > difficulty breathing > fatigue > headache with no significant differences between lecturers and students. Knowledge of participants on transmission of COVID-19 was highest in the order of cough drops > contaminated surfaces > person-to-person contact > asymptomatic persons > airborne > zoonotic with no significant differences among lecturers and students. Lecturers and students were all willing to continue using personal protective equipment like masks, and personal practices such as covering the mouth while sneezing and coughing, no handshaking, and washing of hands with no significant differences in the responses. The positive attitudes that COVID-19 could kill, anyone can get COVID-19, and willing to abide by the set regulations against the pandemic showed personal concerns and desired efforts against COVID-19.

Conclusion: The study identifies lecturers and students as potential stakeholders in the fight against community transmission of COVID-19.

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University Researchers

  • Affiliation

    School of Medicine, Kabale University, Kabale, Uganda.

    Infection Medicine, Deanery of Biomedical Sciences, and College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

    Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Kampala International University Western, Bushenyi, Uganda.

    Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry, Kampala International University Teaching Hospital, Bushenyi, Uganda.

    School of Pharmacy, Kampala International University Western Campus, Bushenyi, Uganda.

    Faculty of Science and Technology, Cavendish University, Kampala, Uganda.

    School of Health Sciences, Soroti University, Soroti, Uganda.

    Directorate of Research, Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute, Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda.

    Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, International Campus, Zhejiang University, Haining, Peoples Republic of China.