Background: COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic in March 2020. After confirming the first case the Ethiopian government has been working a lot to prevent transmission. Most of the reported cases were identified from traveling abroad. Effective prevention and control practices depend on awareness and compliance among the population at all levels. The main objective of this study is to determine the knowledge level and its association with sources of information towards COVID-19 and its prevention techniques in the Gedeo Zone of Sothern Ethiopia.
Methods: There are 10 knowledge questions regarding COVID-19 and its prevention techniques. The maximum knowledge score for each questions was 1 and the minimum 0, where 0 were scored for incorrect and 1 for correct answers. The overall knowledge score ranges from 0 to 10, where a score of 0-5 as poor knowledge and a score from 6-10 as good knowledge. Bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression was used to determine the association between dependent and independent variables. The adjusted odds ratio with their 95% CI was used to show the strength of association. P-value < 0.05 was used to declare a statistically significant association.
Result: Among 1170 study participants, 58.1% of the study participants were male whereas protestant constitutes 50.6% of the study participants in religion. Regarding knowledge level, 60.5 % have good knowledge about COVID-19 and its prevention techniques. Concerning sources of information about COVID-19 and its prevention internet, family/peer, religious and health workers contributes less <20% whereas telecommunication and television/Radio contributes the largest 56.1% and 85.8% as a source of information respectively. Internet as sources of information AOR: 1.99 (CI: 1.05-3.78, p=0.034), information from health worker AOR: 2.324 (CI: 1.228-4.397, p=0.010) and information from television or radio AOR: 2.737 (CI: 1.471-5.092, p=0.001) has been significantly associated with good knowledge with p-value < 0.05.
Conclusion: Sources of information had a significant association on the level of knowledge. Residents who had internet, television/radio, and health workers as their information sources had better knowledge regarding COVID-19 and its prevention. Based on this, we recommend increasing internet access, television and radio service, and public health education by trained health workers for effective approaches to fight COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19, Knowledge, Information, Ethiopia