Adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: results of two consecutive online surveys

John D Ditekemena, Hypolite M Mavoko, Michael Obimpeh, Stijn Van Hees, Joseph Nelson Siewe Fodjo, Dalau M Nkamba, Antoinette Tshefu, Wim Van Damme, Jean Jacques Muyembe, Robert Colebunders

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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Abstract

Adherence to preventive measures is essential to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Two online surveys were conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 23 April to 8 June 2020, and from August 24th to September 8th, respectively. A total of 3268 (round 1) and 4160 (round 2) participants were included. In both surveys, there was a moderate level of adherence to regular handwashing (85% and 77%, respectively), wearing of facemasks (41.4% and 69%, respectively), and respecting physical distancing (58% and 43.4%, respectively). The second survey found that, working in private (OR = 2.31, CI: 1.66-3.22; p < 0.001) and public organizations (OR = 1.61, CI: 1.04-2.49; p = 0.032) and being a healthcare worker (OR = 2.19, CI: 1.57-3.05; p < 0.001) significantly increased the odds for better adherence. However, a unit increase in age (OR = 0.99, CI: 0.98-0.99; p < 0.026), having attained lower education levels (OR = 0.60, CI: 0.46-0.78; p < 0.001), living in a room (OR = 0.36, CI: 0.15-0.89; p = 0.027), living in a studio (OR = 0.26, CI: 0.11-0.61; p = 0.002) and apartment (OR = 0.29, CI: 0.10-0.82; p = 0.019) significantly decreased the odds for better adherence. We recommend a multi-sectorial approach to monitor and respond to the pandemic threat. While physical distancing may be difficult in Africa, it should be possible to increase the use of facemasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2525
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number5
Number of pages12
ISSN1660-4601
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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