Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore knowledge, practice of risk and guidelines of the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) infection among the eye care practitioners and the potential associated factors. A cross-sectional self-administered online survey was distributed via emails and social media networks between 2nd and 18th May 2020 corresponding to the week of the lockdown in Nigeria to eye care practitioners (ECPs). Data for 823 respondents were analyzed. Knowledge and risk practice were categorized as binary outcome and univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to examine the associated factors. The mean score for COVID-19-related knowledge of public health guidelines was high and varied across the ECPs. Ophthalmic Nurses, Ophthalmologists and Optometrists showed higher COVID-19-related knowledge than other ECPs (p < 0.001), particularly those working in the private sector. More than 50% of ECPs stated they provided essential services during the COVID-19 lockdown via physical consultation, particularly the Ophthalmologists. Most respondents reported that the guidelines provided by their Association were useful but expressed their lack of confidence in attending to patients during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Compared to other ECPs in Nigeria, more Ophthalmic Nurses received training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This survey is the first to assess knowledge, attitudes and practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. ECPs in Nigeria displayed good knowledge about COVID-19 and provided eye care services during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria, despite the majority not receiving any training on the use of PPEs with concerns over attending to patients. There is need for the government to strengthen health systems by improving and extending training on standard infection prevention and control measures to ECPs for effective control of the pandemic and in the future as essential health workers.

Rights

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Ekpenyong, B., Obinwanne, C., Ovenseri-Ogbomo, G., Ahaiwe, K., Lewis, O., Echendu, D. & Osuagwu, U. 2020, 'Assessment of knowledge, practice and guidelines towards the novel covid-19 among eye care practitioners in nigeria–a survey-based study', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(14), article no: 5141. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145141

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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