Knowledge, risk perception and preventive practices to COVID-19 among adults in Liberia, April 2020.

  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Vaccine preventable diseases
Export to CSV
On March 16, 2020, Liberia recorded her first confirmed case of COVID-19. In order to guide response activities following this case, a study was conducted to assess the knowledge, risk perceptions, and preventive practices of adult Liberians one month into the COVID-19 outbreak and identify contributory factors.

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 41 of the 93 health districts of Liberia among 1,025 respondents selected using a multi-stage sampling technique one month into the outbreak. Using a structured questionnaire, we obtained information on their knowledge, risk perception, and practice of preventive measures related to COVID-19 through an in-person face-to-face interview. A pre-determined set of criteria based on the literature review, was used to categorize the knowledge and preventive practice as good, fair, and poor, and risk perception as high and low. We reported the dependent variables in proportions and assessed the relationship between them and other sociodemographic characteristics using chi-square and multiple logistic regressions.

The median age of the respondents was 39years (interquartile range: 43-67) with 40.4%(415/1,025) aged 35-54 years. Males accounted for 52.3%(536/1,025), and 44.0%(451/1,025) were married. About 32%(325/1,025) of the respondents had no formal education. Although only 38%(389/1,025) of the respondents had good knowledge, 91.2%(935/1,025) had good preventive practices with the majority placing emphasis on handwashing, social distancing, and avoiding sick people. About 40.2%(412/1,025) had low risk perception. One percent(10/1,025) of respondents thought that it was an Ebola virus outbreak. Some respondents mentioned blood transfusion, sexual intercourse, and mosquito bites as the mode of transmission. Knowledge, preventive practices, and risk perception were not associated with sociodemographic factors in our study.

Preventive practices were good although there were poor knowledge and low risk perception among respondents. Memory of Ebola outbreak could have contributed to this. Our findings were shared with the risk communication team and factored into their messaging.

Please abstracts [at] tephinet [dot] org (email us) if you have any corrections.

If this abstract has been converted into a full article, please abstracts [at] tephinet [dot] org (email us) the link. We would love to help promote your work.