Mothers’ Perception of COVID‑19 Infection in Their Under‑Five Children Presenting in a Tertiary Health Institution in South‑East Nigeria and Associated Factors
Background: Maternal attitude to health‑seeking behavior of their under‑five children in the COVID‑19 pandemic is not well‑known.
Objectives: This study is aimed at determining mothers’ perception of COVID‑19 pandemic among their under‑five children and associated factors.
Methodology: This is a prospective and observational study carried out in two health institutions in South‑East Nigeria.
Results: Most subjects, 243 (65.3%) noted that someone without showing symptoms of COVID‑19 could transmit the virus. Of the mothers of children under‑five, 271 (72.8%) highlighted the possibility of COVID‑19 infection in the under‑five. A small number of participants 53 (14.2%) showed awareness that people should cough into their elbows as a way of preventing the transmission of COVID‑19. A small number of participants, 160 (43.0%) had a good perception of COVID‑19. Majority of mothers who were married, 148 (44.7%) showed a good perception of COVID‑19 when compared with those who were single, 12 (29.3%); however, this is not significant, (χ2 = 3.550, P = 0.060). A large number of participants who have attained tertiary education, 92 (48.9%) had a good perception of COVID‑19 which is higher than that seen in mothers with secondary education 68 (37.0%) (χ2=5.444, P = 0.020). Participants who were 30–34 years had 1.8 times higher odds of good perception of COVID 19 compared with mothers who were more than 35 years (adjusted odds ratio = 1.803, 95% confidence interval = 1.026–3.170).
Conclusion: Although most mothers affirm that a child could be infected by COVID‑19, a small number of them actually had a good perception of COVID‑19 infection. Good perception of COVID‑19 among the under‑five is enhanced by the high level of education and age of 32–34 years.