Knowledge and Anxiety Levels of African University Students Against COVID-19 During the Pandemic Outbreak by an Online Survey
Introduction: The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded on March 10, 2020. With a constant increment in numbers, all tertiary educational institutions were closed with an order of the Ministry of Education by March 20, 2020, and the government announced the initial lockdown of big cities on March 30, 2020. In this study, the information and anxiety levels of African university students against COVID-19 during the epidemic outbreak was investigated.
Method: One hundred and eighty-three Nigerian university students participated in the study. Participants were 69 men and 114 women who were 17-21 years of age. To get their knowledge and anxiety scores, the questions selected by referencing previous and current epidemic studies were used.
Results: The correct rate of knowledge was approximately 88% of Nigerian university students. The anxiety score was higher in women than in men. The students of the college of health sciences had higher knowledge scores than both students of faculty of natural and applied sciences and students of faculty of art and social sciences. Additionally, the 100 level students had lower knowledge scores than both 200 and 300 level students.
Discussion: The gender difference supports the previous studies in which depression and alexithymia scores were high in women compared to men. The faculty difference may be attributed to a good and effective education of medical faculty students. The level difference may be attributed to the lower education level in the first-year students.
Conclusion: The results of the present study and previous studies suggest that the knowledge levels should be increased and thus the anxiety levels should be decreased to overcome this disease via online systems. Also, the mental health of university students should be monitored.