Original Research

Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours toward COVID-19: A cross-sectional survey among Nigerian University students

Philemon D. Shallie, Firoza Haffejee
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 27 | a1725 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v27i0.1725 | © 2022 Philemon D. Shallie, Firoza Haffejee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 June 2021 | Published: 27 May 2022

About the author(s)

Philemon D. Shallie, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Nigeria
Firoza Haffejee, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

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Background: The effect of the highly contagious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, from which it spread worldwide. In Nigeria, to curb the spread of the virus, the government elected to close public places, halt the general use of public transportation, enforce isolation and manage infected persons.

Aim: This study evaluated Nigerian university students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour (KAB) towards COVID-19.

Setting: This was an online survey of Nigerian university students.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1268 respondents aged 16 to 60 who completed the survey questionnaire. The respondents’ demographic data and KAB toward COVID-19 were collected, allocated and scored based on specific stratified divisions. Data were analysed using student’s t-test, analysis of variance and logistic regression analysis.

Results: The respondents demonstrated good knowledge of COVID-19, with a mean knowledge score of 78.7%; this positively influenced their attitude and behaviour scores (84.1% and 72.3%, respectively). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that 98.9% of the variance associated with poor knowledge is explained by gender (98.9%), age (97.3%), education (97.3%), occupation (97.2%) and marital status (91.4%).

Conclusion: The respondents had a positive attitude and satisfactory compliance with safety practices required to curb the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, there is a need to intensify health education campaigns targeting all Nigerians, especially the less educated, via community outreach programmes using local languages.

Contribution: The findings of this study demonstrate the imperative role of the knowledge of COVID-19 in curbing the spread of the infection via improved attitudes and positive behaviours in compliance with safety practices.


attitudes; behaviours; COVID-19; knowledge; Nigerians


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