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Knowledge and awareness of Covid-19 in eye care

Citation

Sanyam, Sandip (2021), Knowledge and awareness of Covid-19 in eye care, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bcc2fqzbx

Abstract

Background: Nepal is currently under a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are concerns regarding misinformation circulating on social media. This study aimed to analyse the knowledge and awareness of COVID-19 amongst eye care professionals in Nepal.

Methodology: We invited 600 participants from 12 ophthalmic centres across Nepal to complete a qualitative, anonymous online survey. Altogether, 25 questions (both open and closed-ended) were used. An overall performance score was calculated from the average of the 12 Knowledge questions for all the participants.

Results: Of the 600 eye care professionals invited, 310 (51%) participated in the survey. The symptoms of COVID-19 were known to 94%, whilst only 49% of the participants were aware how the disease was transmitted, with 54% aware that anyone can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. Almost 98% of participants recognized the World Health Organization’s (WHO) awareness message, but surprisingly, 41% of participants felt that consumption of hot drinks helps to destroy the virus, in contradiction to WHO information. Importantly, 95% of the participants were aware of personal protective equipment (PPE) and what the acronym stands for. Social distancing was felt to be key to limiting the disease spread; whilst 41% disagreed that PPE should be mandatory for eye care practitioners.

Conclusion: There is still considerable scope to improve the knowledge of COVID-19 amongst ophthalmic professionals in Nepal. Opinion is also split on measures to prevent transmission, with misinformation potentially fuelling confusion. It is recommended to follow WHO and national guidelines, whilst seeking published scientific evidence behind any unofficial statements, to accurately inform one’s clinical practice.