Main Article Content
COVID-19; knowledge; Risk perception; preventive behaviour; Students; Samoa
Objectives: There has been unprecedented spread and re-evolving of the SARS-COV-2 throughout the world with the emergence of new strains of the virus. This study investigated the knowledge, risk perception and preventive measures of COVID-19 among Medical and Nursing Students in Samoa.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted from August to October 2020 at the NUS. The study was conducted using an online self-administered questionnaire, which was distributed on specific social media and interactive online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Moodle groups of Medical and Nursing students. A total of 75 students participated in this study.
Results: About 88% of the study subjects were knowledgeable about COVID-19 and majority of them were females. 71% of the students were aware of early diagnosis of COVID-19. There was also a significant level (p=0.003) of association of COVID-19 in persons with underlying conditions and students’ academic levels, depicting that a greater percentage (92%) of the participants' perceived adults above age 65 and individuals in the high-risk groups (diabetic, hypertensive and cancer patients) were more prone to COVID-19. Most of the students (95%) stated that observing basic safety precautions; sneezing and coughing into the elbow (86%), regular hand washing with soap and water (89%), observing personal hygiene and social distancing (84%) and frequent use of hand sanitizers (76%), could prevent the contraction of COVID-19.
Conclusion: Our findings suggested that medical and nursing students, who are future frontline healthcare workers in Samoa, showed a considerable level of knowledge, risk perception and preventive behaviour towards COVID-19. Additionally updating the students’ knowledge about the diagnosis and case management of COVID-19 is imperative when implementing proper preventive strategies to curtail the spread of the disease.
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