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Awareness of COVID-19 among Illiterate Population in Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2021

Muhammad Salman*
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan
Zia Ul Mustafa
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacy Services, District Headquarter Hospital Pakpattan, Pakpattan, Pakistan
Noman Asif
Affiliation:
Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Naureen Shehzadi
Affiliation:
Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Khalid Hussain
Affiliation:
Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Tahir Mehmood Khan
Affiliation:
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi*
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Jouf University, Sakaka, Al-Jouf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Yusra Habib Khan
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Jouf University, Sakaka, Al-Jouf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Muhammad Hammad Butt
Affiliation:
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Muhammad Junaid Farrukh
Affiliation:
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, USCI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fahad Saleem
Affiliation:
Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
*
Corresponding authors: Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi, Email: Tauqeer.hussain.mallhi@hotmail.com. Muhammad Salman, Email: msk5012@gmail.com.
Corresponding authors: Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi, Email: Tauqeer.hussain.mallhi@hotmail.com. Muhammad Salman, Email: msk5012@gmail.com.

Abstract

Background

COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a massive infodemic, however, many vulnerable individuals such as illiterate or low-literate, older adults and rural populations have limited access to health information. In this context, these individuals are more likely to have poor knowledge, attitudes, and preventive practices related to COVID-19. The current study was aimed to investigate COVID-19’s awareness of the illiterate population of Pakistan.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted among illiterate Pakistanis of ages ≥ 18 years through a convenient sampling approach. The study participants were interviewed face to face by respecting the defined precautionary measures and all data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 22 (IBM, Armonk, NY).

Results

The mean age of the study participants’ (N = 394) was 37.2 ± 9.60 years, with the majority being males (80.7%). All participants were aware of the COVID-19 outbreak and television news channels (75.1%) were the primary source of information. The mean knowledge score was 5.33 ± 1.88, and about 27% of participants had a good knowledge score (score ≥ 7) followed by moderate (score 4 - 6) and poor (score ≤ 3) knowledge in 41.6%, and 31.5% of respondents, respectively. The attitude score was 4.42 ± 1.22 with good (score ≥ 6), average (score 4 - 5), and poor attitude (score ≤ 3) in 19%, 66%, and 15% of the participants, respectively. The average practice-related score was 12.80 ± 3.34, with the majority of participants having inadequate practices.

Conclusion

COVID-19 knowledge, attitude, and preventive practices of the illiterate population in Pakistan are unsatisfactory. This study highlights the gaps in specific aspects of knowledge and practice that should be addressed through awareness campaigns targeting this specific population.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
© Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2021

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