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Perceived Risk of COVID-19 and Related Factors Among University Students in Ethiopia During School Reopening

Authors Tadese M, Haile AB, Moltot T, Silesh M

Received 15 January 2021

Accepted for publication 26 February 2021

Published 11 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 953—961


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Héctor M. Mora-Montes

Mesfin Tadese, Assalif Beyene Haile, Tebabere Moltot, Mulualem Silesh

Department of Midwifery, College of Health Sciences, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Mesfin Tadese
Department of Midwifery, College of Health Sciences, Debre Berhan University, PO. Box: 445, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
Tel +25915839921
Email [email protected]

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed a great threat to the public. University students living in school compound with groups and sharing a common cafeteria are more susceptible to contract and spread the virus. Risk perception multiplies fear and anxiety that triggers precautionary action. However, research is scant in this particular field.
Objective: To assess the perceived risk of COVID-19 and its associated factors among University Students in Northeast Ethiopia during school reopening.
Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 682 Debre Berhan University students from December 1– 15, 2020, when students just get back to school. Data was collected using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. A multistage sampling technique was used to select study subjects. Data were cleaned and entered into Epi-Data version 4.6 and exported to SPSS version 25 software for analysis. Descriptive statistics, bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis were run to summarize the results.
Results: The overall perceived risk of COVID-19 was 296 (43.4%), 95% CI (39.4– 47.4). Age (AOR (CI) =3.27 (1.87– 5.71), open relationship (AOR (CI) =3.17 (1.73– 5.79), fathers’ education (AOR (CI) =2.29 (1.31– 4.02), having diabetes (AOR (CI) =2.64 (1.15– 6.07), and information source from ministry of health (MOH) (AOR (CI) =1.87 (1.27– 2.75) had significantly high-risk perception. However, students who use Facebook (AOR (CI) =0.57 (0.39– 0.82) and Websites/articles (AOR (CI) =0.14 (0.06– 0.34) had significantly low-risk perception. Television (59.8%) and Telegram (66.6%) were the primary sources of information, while the World Health Organization (68.3%) was the most trusted source of information.
Conclusion: University students perceived a low risk towards COVID-19 pandemics at the time of school resumption. It was influenced by students’ demographic characteristics, co-morbidities, social media, and information sources. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education should properly promote risk communication among university students.

Keywords: COVID-19, risk perception, factors, university students, Ethiopia

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