Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2017; 6(2):(204-318)


Response of undergraduates to institutional emergency strategies on Ebola virus disease in Kwara State University, Nigeria

Oluwasogo A. Olalubi, Abdulrasheed A. Adio, Shola K. Babatunde, Henry O. Sawyerr, Taofiq Ajara, Ernest Tambo

Abstract

Background: The challenge of Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak prompted the need for the development and implementation of strategic alertness and emergency response intervention in prevention and containment of future threats and epidemics. Objective: This work was designed to assess knowledge, perception, attitude, behavioral practices, risk vulnerability, and effectiveness of some selected surveillance interventions strategic responses and measures among undergraduate students in prevention and containment of EVD epidemics. Also to analyze the associations among root causes, vulnerability, risk factors, mode of spread, symptoms, prevention, and response patterns. Materials and Methods: The study employed a carefully-structured, closed-ended, interviewer-administered, paper-based questionnaire designed to capture information on sociodemographic characteristics, active knowledge on EVD, perception, behavioral attitude and responses from undergraduate students to selected strategic surveillance and intervention measures toward containment of EVD in Kwara State University, Nigeria. This is expected to enhance qualitative understanding of perceived misconceptions, and bottlenecks in relation to EVD root causes, mode of transmission, prevention and control programs and strategies. Data were entered and analyzed using IBM® SPSS® Statistics version 22. Descriptive statistics were reported as frequencies and percentages, and presented graphically using bar graphs and pie charts. Data were analyzed further with Pearson’s Chi-square test to determine associations between variables from which inferences were drawn and reported at a significance level of P < 0.05. Results: Based on respondents’ general EVD causes and vulnerability risk factors, handling of corpse (87.3%) was most common, handshake with infected person (95.8%) was the most common mode of spread while regular hand washing with soap and water remained the most pronounced preventive measure. Practices of hand washing after toilet use (93.4%) was most common of the attitude of respondents to EVD, while (38.0%) will relate with EVD survivor. Use of hand sanitizer (83.6%) was a positive response to on - campus EVD intervention. 188 (88.3%) of the respondents’ agreed that EVD presents varieties of signs and symptoms, notable among such includes vomiting, diarrhea and dysentery (34.0%); fever/high body temperature and headache (19.1%); profuse bleeding from nose, mouth and other parts of the body (17.0%); joint body and muscle pain (10.1%). Students at higher levels of study and those in the Colleges of Pure and Applied Sciences and Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Kwara State University tended to have significantly higher knowledge levels at P < 0.05. Conclusion: These findings serve as a prototype in EVD and other emerging epidemics awareness campaigns and community social mobilization activities, institutional and community health education and promotion in upholding and sustaining behavioral, cultural, social and ecological measures and guidelines imperative in guiding evidence-based EVD threat and epidemics knowledge and response delivery programs and best practices in the local setting, Africa and epidemics prone territories.

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