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COVID-19 preventive measures in Rohingya refugee camps: An assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice

Background

Although many studies were conducted on COVID-19 knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) among the general population in many countries, very little is known about refugees, particularly Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar. A vast array of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) interventions were implemented in Cox’s Bazar with the intent of reducing disease transmission by empowering the community to adopt public health measures.

Objectives

The study aimed to assess the level of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of COVID-19 preventive measures among the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, and to identify their socio-demographic determinants.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 500 Rohingya individuals. Participants in the study were Rohingya refugees residing in five randomly selected camps where International Organization for Migration (IOM) Health was operating. Using a structured questionnaire, skilled community health workers surveyed the Rohingya population. In addition to the survey on knowledge, attitude, and practice, the study gathered information on the perspectives and relevance of sociodemographic factors that influence KAP.

Results

The study findings indicate that the mean scores for knowledge, attitude, and practice were 9.93, 7.55, and 2.71 respectively. Association was found between knowledge and practice level and age group–the elderly age group (>/ = 61 years) had less level of knowledge (AOR 0.42, P value = 0.058) and the late mid-age group (46–60 years) had better practice level (AOR 2.67, P value <0.001).

Conclusions

Our study found that the Rohingya refugee community in Cox’s Bazar has improved knowledge and attitude toward COVID-19 preventive measures. However, the practice level of these measures remains low compared to the knowledge and positive attitude. The reason behind the poor practice of preventive measures needs to be identified and addressed engaging the community in similar future outbreaks.

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