Ochu CL, Onoja M, Olatunji D, Okusanya BO, Usuwa IS, Akeju DO, Disu Y, Adejo SO, Eziechina S, Nwiyi G, Okediran JO, Elimian KO, Akande OW, Dunkwu L, Fagbemi B, Aisiri A, Agogo EA, Ebenso B, Oke DA, Igumbor E, Ihekweazu C
BMJ Open 12 (4) e058747 [2022-04-01; online 2022-04-01]
To describe changes in public risk perception and risky behaviours during the first wave (W1) and second wave (W2) of COVID-19 in Nigeria, associated factors and observed trend of the outbreak. A secondary data analysis of cross-sectional telephone-based surveys conducted during the W1 and W2 of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Nigeria. Data from participants randomly selected from all states in Nigeria. Risk perception for COVID-19 infection categorised as risk perceived and risk not perceived. Compliance to public health and social measures (PHSMs) categorised as compliant; non-compliant and indifferent. Comparison of frequencies during both waves using χ2 statistic to test for associations. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses helped estimate the unadjusted and adjusted odds of risk perception of oneself contracting COVID-19. Level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Triangulated datasets had a total of 6401 respondents, majority (49.5%) aged 25-35 years. Overall, 55.4% and 56.1% perceived themselves to be at risk of COVID-19 infection during the W1 and W2, respectively. A higher proportion of males than females perceived themselves to be at risk during the W1 (60.3% vs 50.3%, p<0.001) and the W2 (58.3% vs 52.6%, p<0.05). Residing in the south-west was associated with not perceiving oneself at risk of COVID-19 infection (W1-AOdds Ratio (AOR) 0.28; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.40; W2-AOR 0.71; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.97). There was significant increase in non-compliance to PHSMs in the W2 compared with W1. Non-compliance rate was higher among individuals who perceived themselves not to be at risk of getting infected (p<0.001). Risk communication and community engagement geared towards increasing risk perception of COVID-19 should be implemented, particularly among the identified population groups. This could increase adherence to PHSMs and potentially reduce the burden of COVID-19 in Nigeria.