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Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Toward Prevention and Early Detection of COVID-19 and Associated Factors Among Religious Clerics and Traditional Healers in Gondar Town, Northwest Ethiopia: A Community-Based Study

Authors Asmelash D, Fasil A, Tegegne Y, Akalu TY, Ferede HA, Aynalem GL

Received 19 August 2020

Accepted for publication 1 October 2020

Published 20 October 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2239—2250

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S277846

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Daniel Asmelash, 1 Alebachew Fasil, 1 Yalewayker Tegegne, 2 Temesgen Yihunie Akalu, 3 Habtamu Asfaw Ferede, 4 Getie Lake Aynalem 5

1Department of Clinical Chemistry, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Parasitology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 4Department of Nursing, University of Gondar Referral Hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia; 5School of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Daniel Asmelash Email [email protected]

Background: COVID-19 control measures efforts are affected by the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the public, particularly religious clerics and traditional healers, who have close contact and are widely accepted by a significant number of community members.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID-19 and its associated factors among religious clerics and traditional healers in Gondar town. Study participants who met our inclusion criteria were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Data were collected by trained data collectors through face-to-face interviews. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. Knowledge, attitudes and practices scores were calculated to give the overall knowledge, attitude and practice score. Binary logistic regression was fitted to identify associated factors and odds ratio was used to measure the strength of the association.
Results: A total of 410 religious clerics and traditional healers were included in the study with a response rate of 97.1%. Of the total participants, 60.7% (95%: CI (56– 65%)) had good knowledge, 34.1% (95%: CI (30– 39%)) had a positive attitude and 15.6% (95%: CI (12– 19%)) had good practices towards prevention and early detection of COVID-19. Less than one third of the participants practiced physical distancing (28%) and facemask use (17.8%). In multivariate logistic regression, age, educational status and marital status were significantly associated with knowledge score. Likewise, age and marital status were significantly associated with the positive attitude score. In addition, age, educational status, and the presence of underlying disease were significantly associated with the good practice score.
Conclusion: Majority of the participants had poor practice and negative attitudes. Therefore, there should be a sensitization program to fill the gap in the knowledge, attitudes and practice measures of COVID-19 especially for elderly and illiterates.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, practice, COVID-19, religious clerics, traditional healers, Ethiopia

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