Knowledge and Attitudes of Population Living in Rural and Semi-Rural Areas towards Covid-19 :Case of the Menoua Division, Cameroon

Ig Sanita Pubbl. 2020 May-Jun;76(3):159-172.


Background: The pandemic situation the world is facing caused by the new SARS-Cov-2 continues to evolve and still represent a real problem. With more than eight thousand reported cases infection, Cameroon stands as the seventh most affected country in Africa. Prevention remains the best way to fight against this zoonosis. However, the limited information available about this infection is a great barrier to stopping the propagation of the virus within the population, especially in rural and semi-rural areas, where the lack of financial and material resources is a reality. This study aimed to assessing Awareness and attitudes of the population of the Menoua Division on COVID-19 infection.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 9 to April 15 2020 amongst the populations of rural and semi-rural areas of the Menoua Division. Data were collected using a questionnaire administered face to face to each participant. The analysis was carried out using the Statistical Analysis System software (SAS version 9.4). The significance threshold was set at a P value of less than 0.05.

Results: A total of 434 participants of which male majority (sex ratio 1.07) were included in this study. The most represented age group was [21 - 40] years old representing 40.29% of the participants. Approximately all participants (98.57%) were aware of the world emergency state due to Coronavirus. 75.56%, 91% and 90.93% of the participants knew respectively that having close contacts, kissing and touching the face with the hands could favor the transmission of the virus. However, nearly 91.14% were not aware of the clinical symptoms of the disease. Moreover, 85.02% responded that they would not be able to comply with the confinement measures if they were applied at national level. The level of awareness varied significantly according to the occupation (p=0.038) and the educational level (p<0.001)of the participants.

Conclusion: The average level of awareness of the population of the Menoua Division on COVID-19 infection was relatively low. Overcoming this pandemic disease means ensuring the flow of the correct information towards the population. Community outreach activities focus on clinical manifestations and what to do in case of COVID-19 infection as well as material and financial support should be help the population to protect themselves effectively against pandemic, particularly in rural areas and surrounding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Rural Population
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult