Knowledge, attitudes, practices of/towards COVID 19 preventive measures and symptoms: A cross-sectional study during the exponential rise of the outbreak in Cameroon

by Ngwewondo Adela, Lucia Nkengazong, Lum Abienwi Ambe, Jean Thierry Ebogo, Fabrice Medou Mba, Hamadama Oumarou Goni, Nyemb Nyunai, Marie Chantal Ngonde, Jean-Louis Essame Oyono

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (COVID 19) has plagued the world with about 7,8 million confirmed cases and over 430,000 deaths as of June 13th, 2020. The knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) people hold towards this new disease could play a major role in the way they accept measures put in place to curb its spread and their willingness to seek and adhere to care. We sought to understand if: a) demographic variables of Cameroonian residents could influence KAP and symptomatology, and b) KAP could influence the risk of having COVID19.A cross-sectional KAP/symptomatology online survey was conducted between April 20 to May 20. All analyses were performed using SPSS version 23. Of all respondents (1006), 53.1% were female, 26.6% were students, 26.9% interacted face to face and 62.8% were residents in Yaoundé with a median age of 33. The overall high score was 84.19% for knowledge, 69% for attitude, and 60.8% for practice towards COVID 19. Age > 20 years was associated with a high knowledge of COVID 19. Women had lower practice scores compared to men (OR = 0.72; 95%CI 0.56–0.92). 41 respondents had ≥3 symptoms and only 9 (22.95%) of them had called 1510 (emergency number). There was no significant difference between KAP and symptomatology. The presence of ≥ 3 symptoms in 4% of respondents (with 56% of them having co-morbidities) supports the current trend in the number of confirmed cases (8681) in Cameroon. The continuous increase in the number of cases and the overall good KAP warrants further investigation to assess the effectiveness of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease. Sensitization is paramount to preclude negative health-seeking behaviors and encourage positive preventive and therapeutic practices, for fear of an increase in mortality.

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Plos Journal

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