Coronavirus Disease 2019 Virus among Ophthalmologists in Nigeria: Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceptions
Background: Globally, there is still much to learn about the evolving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) virus, its transmission, prevention, and treatment. Therefore, this study investigates the knowledge, perception, and screening practices of COVID‑19 infection in the ophthalmology practice in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This survey was a descriptive, cross‑sectional survey conducted among practising ophthalmologists and ophthalmologists in training in Nigeria in an online survey. Data compiled were then analyzed using the IBM SPSS software version 22.0 with two‑tailed P < 0.05 considered to indicate statistical significance.
Results: A total of 206 ophthalmologists/ophthalmologists in training were recruited for this study. Most of the respondents, 97 (47.1%), practiced in centres in South‑West Nigeria and were board‑certified ophthalmologists 96 (46.6%). In general, the majority of the respondents, 182 (88.3%), had good knowledge regarding the COVID‑19 virus, its transmission, prevention as it regards the ophthalmic practice, 134 (74.8%) either agreed or strongly agreed that the ophthalmologist is at a higher risk of contracting the virus from infected patients even if the patient is asymptomatic. COVID‑19 infection was perceived as very serious by the majority of the respondents, 135 (65.5%), although 128 (62.1%) felt that all routine cases should be seen only following a low‑risk assessment.
Conclusion: As the world races toward complete vaccination of the population against this fatal infection, continued training is required to ensure the best practices among ophthalmologists to bridge the present knowledge gaps, corrects myths, misconceptions, and ensure the safety of both the patient and the ophthalmologist.