1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant threat to the health and well-being of students, teachers, caregivers, school officials, educators, and the general public. School and university closures have impacted over 1.5 billion children and young people around the world. In February 2020, the COVID-19 index case in Nigeria was confirmed. Following this, schools and learning facilities in Nigeria were forced to close indefinitely in March 2020. Schools offer more than just education; they also provide social care, nutrition, educational services, and emotional assistance to those who are most vulnerable. The longer classrooms are closed, the greater the lack of learning, the greater the exacerbation of inequality, the worse the learning problem, and the greater the likelihood of exploitation for the most disadvantaged children. This progress would have a detrimental effect on learners’ rights, and it would be very difficult to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 on equitable and high-quality education. Economic pressures and the negative impact of school closures on girls, disabled children, children from low-income families, children from rural or remote areas, children from conflict-affected areas, and those without access to family support networks or online or other distance learning platforms limit their access to their fundamental right to a safe and inclusive education. Furthermore, the pandemic poses a significant health danger to students and staff, which may be disastrous if successful risk-mitigation policies are not implemented. Nigeria’s education sector faces an immense challenge as a result of the unscheduled, sweeping school closures that have occurred. For at least three months, an estimated 80 million infants, teenagers, and adult learners in the system will be denied entry to schools and will have extremely few alternative learning options. During the pandemic, classrooms and learning centers will be closed, creating greater degradation of facilities and capacities for delivering quality education. COVID-19 would exacerbate the already weakened Nigerian education system, which lacks the required resilience, if it is not addressed effectively. Furthermore, in some states, school closures will unwittingly exacerbate poor educational outcomes. However, there are inherent openings in the COVID-19 answer. Nigeria should use available funding from global efforts to fund the COVID-19 response to fix long-standing vulnerabilities in the education sector for improved functionality and resilience. This is an opportunity to improve the education sector to be more equitable and responsive in future crises.
Compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures is a double-edged sword that rips through the fabric of the Nigerian citizen’s daily life, specifically the university community. It has both negative and positive consequences for the university society’s overall wellbeing. From mental health concerns to physiological effects to environmental effects, there is a wide range of issues to consider. The World Health Organisation (WHO) proclaimed coronavirus disease 2019 a pandemic on 12th March 2020. 2020 (World Health Organization) The illness is caused by the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain of Coronavirus (Olapegba, et al., 2020). By the 24th of January 2020, a minimum of 830 patients had been diagnosed in nine countries, with the disease having arisen in Wuhan, China (Unhale, Bilal, Sanap, & Thakhre, 2020). In general, viral respiratory infections are spread via direct contact, such as touching an infected person or touching surfaces on which large virus-containing droplets expelled by the person land (Lidia & Junji, 2020), where the virus will remain stable for days (Doremalen, et al., 2020), or through fomites (Lidia & Junji, 2020) (particles of skin cells, hair, clothing, and bedding). The droplets may be directly transmitted to someone who is in close proximity to an infected individual. In a 2019 report, the World Health Organisation reported that infectious virus diseases can be spread over long distances by aerosols (e.g., airborne infections), resulting in clusters of infection in a brief period of time. It’s worth noting that, based on research on virus transport in general and correlations between the SARS viruses, the SARSCoV-2 virus often spreads by air (Morawska, Johnson, Ristovski, & Hargreaves, 2018). COVID-19 causes a dry cough, fever, and exhaustion in its victims. Headaches, aches, pains, respiratory inflammation, sore throat, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, lack of taste or scent, and discoloration of fingers or toes are some of the other signs that patients may experience. These signs appear gradually and are mild. Some people get sick but only have minor effects (Unhale, et al., 2020). It’s also worth mentioning that COVID-19 shares certain signs with other diseases, making it possible to misdiagnose it, as demonstrated by the supposed Enugu index case, who was misdiagnosed for COVID-19 disease but later confirmed negative in the lab (Olisah & Chika, 2020). Nigeria announced the index case in Lagos State on February 27th, 2020. An Italian citizen who works in Nigeria arrived from Milan, Italy on February 25th via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. He became ill on February 26th and was moved to Lagos State bio security facilities for isolation and testing (Wikipedia, 2020) Preventive steps are taken before the start of a pandemic to guard against impending danger and delay, if not avoid, disease transmission. As a result, the Nigerian government (like any other responsible government around the world) implemented a variety of prevention policies that, in turn, have interfered with people’s everyday lives, resulting in significant economic damage, a danger to the population’s mental well-being, and societal disturbance, like university environmental health. Staff in vital services sectors such as healthcare facilities/workers and essential commercial establishments were exempted from the order to remain at work, home, and offices.
In Nigerians where majority of its residents make a living in the informal economy, their means of subsistence were endangered by the lockdown because most of their activities and businesses require face-to-face interaction. In Nigeria, there is no social safety net, no food stamps, and no unemployment benefits; most people work every day to make ends meet. Regardless, Nigerians are practicing diligent hand washing, social distancing and self-isolation, and avoiding going to work, education, or crowded places, and there has been a high level of compliance with government directives so far. Religious leaders have contributed by asking for a halt to big crowds, holding hands, and instructing her supporters to pray at home to obey the government’s various protective steps. (Olapegba and colleagues, 2020) To stop the virus from spreading further, civil society and government agencies started awareness campaigns to promote a variety of preventive steps. At airports, travellers were subjected to body temperature monitoring, and those returning from countries with a large number of reported cases of COVID-19 were advised to separate themselves. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control in collaboration with State governments also initiated tracing and tracking of victims and their contacts. On 18th March 2020, the Nigerian government prohibited all gatherings of fifty people or above for four weeks and ordered a stay-at-home (Ewodage, 2020). Similarly, the Nigerian government, on 30th March 2020 introduced various containment plan such as the closing of the national borders and airspace, schools, worship centres, and other public places, cancelling of public gathering events, the complete lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states for fourteen days initially (Radio Nigeria, 2020). Currently, the federal government while fighting the spread of the virus with massive COVID-19 screening tests and these preventive measures, shows obviously that priority revolves around people’s health. Consequently, the indirect impact of these preventive measures on environmental health has been little analyzed. Some stipulated COVID 19 preventive measures are listed as follows: 1. Social distance 2. Self-isolation 3. washing of hands with detergent or use of alcohol based sanitizers 4. Putting on a face mask in public places Medical experts and researchers in the world work tirelessly towards the production of COVID-19 vaccines and find more adequate ways to curb the spread of the disease, it is important to note that there is a lot of false knowledge and misconceptions about the disease in Africa and Nigeria. The WHO says the disease has ignited the spread of false news and teaching. This implies that a significant amount of information on social media, some simply false. Specifically, some people in Nigeria doubt the existence of COVID-19; others though admit the existence of the disease but do not believe that it affects the poor or those who cannot or do not travel beyond the national boundaries of the country. Another category believes that some sorts of alcoholic substances and concoction can cure the virus or in the least prevent them from getting infected. A good number of people believe that it is a disease suffered only by the elite class and so it can not affect the poor masses. Others believe that COVID-19 cannot survive in a region around the equator as the temperature would kill it. While others believe it’s a death sentence. They believe that it has no cure or remedy which is contrary to the reports of recovery from the disease. However, with more than 7,839 people infected and 226 deaths recorded already in Nigeria as indicated on Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) website (NCDC, 2020) and 112,290 people infected and 3,359 deaths recorded across Africa as indicated on Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) website(ACDC, 2020), it is crystal clear that the virus is not selective as it keeps infecting the rich and the poor alike and could potentially spread on African soil if not combated since the figures are becoming more frightening daily. The false claims that the virus could be cured or prevented by drinking the alcoholic substance, eating of garlic, lemon, and good food to strengthen body immune system and the likes, have been debunked by the WHO and many medical experts around the world. The only way out of it at the moment is premised on personal hygiene – which includes regular hand washing, social distancing, avoidance of large gathering, and regular decontamination of the environment, etc. A lot of media files (most often video, audios) have been circulating on social media with the claim that some drugs combination can potentially reduce symptoms, unfortunately, there are no data or known research conducted by the authors of this information to back up their recommendations. A strict measure was recently introduced by a popular social media platform “WhatsApp” with more than 2 billion people in over 180 countries across the world to limit viral message forwards to one chat at a time to stem the rapid spread of COVID19 misinformation (CNBC, 2020). Although a user could theoretically still forward the same message to individuals or groups one by one it is believed this limitation will be effective in preventing a spread of untrue information about the Pandemic.
Ogbonda, Douglas and Moore (2020) assessed the knowledge and Compliance with Standard Precautions amongst Healthcare Workers in selected Hospitals in Rivers State, Nigeria. The result of the Chisquare at 0.05 level revealed that gender, job categories and years of experience influences compliance with standard precaution among healthcare workers. Also, Li, Feng, Liao and Pan (2020) assessed internet use, risk awareness, and demographic characteristics associated with engagement in preventive behaviours and testing of cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The study was a cross sectional survey which was conducted online between April 10, 2020, to April 14, 2020. Participants’ internet use. Data collected was analysed quantitatively at P< 0.05. It was gathered that gender of the participants as well as age, ethnicity, marital status, and employment status were significantly linked with precautionary behaviours and testing. Therefore, this study will try to answer the question that says could the increase in Covid-19 cases in Nigeria be as a result of poor adherence to covid-19 protocol among students in tertiary institutions?
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Covid-19 pandemic poses multiple threats to the environmental health of the university. The students and staff of the university are affected by the disease, the false information surrounding the disease, and the stringent preventive measures stipulated to aid in mitigating the spread of the pandemic. The general society including the university society need to be educated on the need to adherence to the COVID-19 preventive measures, the effects of abuse of the preventive measures and how best to adapt in with the new mode of function in our society towards a healthier environment. This research is to increase the perception of individuals about a health threat and direct their behaviours towards health. Likewise, it focuses on a person’s health related behaviour and belief in predicting future actions. The perceived risk of people developing COVID 19 is considered to be the primary motive to change within the Health Belief Model, which assumes that the higher the perceived threat, the more likely an individual will modify his or her behaviour to avoid that threat.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to assess the level of awareness and adherence to covid19 safety precautions among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma. The specific objectives are to;
- To understand the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria
- To study the different COVID-19 preventive measures
- To determine the level of knowledge of standard precautions among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University
- To determine the level of practice of the safety precautions for the preventions of COVID-19 among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University
- To examine the effects of the COVID-19 preventive measure on students health.
- To make recommendations in order to improve practice and knowledge, and thereby raise the level of safety for students
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria?
- What are the different COVID-19 preventive measures?
- What is the level of knowledge of standard precautions among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University?
- What is the level of practice of the safety precautions for the preventions of COVID-19 among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University?
- What is the effect of the COVID-19 preventive measure on student’s health?
- What are the recommendations in order to improve practice and knowledge, and thereby raise the level of safety for students?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Awareness of effective self-protective measures does not influence the students’ preventive behaviour in preventing the disease.
H1: Awareness of effective self-protective measures significantly influences the students’ preventive behaviour in preventing the disease.
H0: There is no significant relationship between student’s ethnic background and level of adherence to Covid-19 preventive precautions.
H1: There is a significant relationship between student’s ethnic background and level of adherence to Covid-19 preventive precautions.
The findings of this study are considered to be of great importance to various stakeholders for several reasons. Foremost, there is a paucity of previous research regarding how tertiary institutions are trying to cope with keeping students engaged during COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of many tertiary institutions globally. This study will help uncover critical areas and contribute to local literature on the subject, which in turn could be used by relevant authorities in improving their education initiatives.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the assessment of the level of awareness and adherence to covid19 safety precautions among human kinetic and health education undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Edo state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Epidemic: The occurrence of cases of a disease or illness in a community or region in excess of what is usually expected over a given period of time.
Emerging Disease: A new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogenic agent, a known infection spreading to a new geographic area or population, or a previously unrecognized pathogenic agent or disease diagnosed for the first time and which has a significant impact on animal or public health.
Contagious: A contagious disease is easily spread from one person to another by contact with the infectious agent that causes the disease. The agent may be in droplets of liquid particles made by coughing or sneezing, from contaminated food utensils, water or food, or from direct contact between two individuals.
Isolation: The physical separation of a person suffering from an infectious or contagious disease from other persons in a community.
Outbreak: The confirmed presence of disease or infection of one or more cases of disease or infection in a defined epidemiological unit (i.e. flock, herd, farm or village) and during a specific period of time.
Pandemic: An outbreak of a disease that affects large numbers of people throughout the world.
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