Introduction: The primary healthcare workers (PHCWs) face a higher risk of infection associated with their occupation, due to inadequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), inappropriate use of PPEs, and insufficient knowledge on infection prevention and control. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the preparedness for COVID-19 by PHCWs in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted involving the healthcare workers at the public primary healthcare facilities across the 23 local government areas (LGAs) of Rivers State, Nigeria. The descriptive statistics of mean ± standard deviation and percentage were used to present quantitative and categorical variables respectively. The preparedness for COVID-19 was measured by knowledge, attitude and preventive practices (KAP) towards the disease. The association between the KAP and demographic characteristics was tested with the Chi-square test, while the associations existing among the KAP constituents were evaluated with the Pearson correlation coefficient. Statistical significance was evaluated at P<0.05.
Results: Out of 460 questionnaires distributed, 412 respondents participated in the survey, indicating a response rate of 89.6%. The proportion of respondents with good scores in knowledge, attitude, and COVID-19 related practices was 86.4% (10.66 ± 2.40), 85.0% (8.28 ± 1.94), and 97.3% (8.34 ± 1.39) respectively. Gender, occupation, and years of experience were associated with knowledge, while years of experience and marital status were associated with attitude and preventive practices. Knowledge score also had significant positive linear associations with both attitudes and practices ( scores toward COVID-19.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed the level of PHCWs preparedness to fight COVID-19 in Rivers State. We suggest that public health education programs on infection prevention and control should be sustained. Furthermore, training should be tailored to meet the peculiarities of the different categories of healthcare workers and years of practice.