Al-Wataniya Private University in Hama Conducted a Research about COVID 19

2020 has witnessed the emergence of a global pandemic, COVID-19. Despite the extreme measures taken worldwide to limit the infection and flatten the curve, the virus has spread exponentially and the death toll has hit the highest points worldwide. In accordance with the Syrian Government instructions and the University vision with regards to finding solutions to the challenges facing the Syrian community, Dr. Ahed Khezam, the University President, has instructed the Research Center at the University to foster any research projects conducted on COVID-19 in order to fight the pandemic with all available methods. Following the University President’s directives to the teaching staff to present their suggestions and researches with regards to pandemic, Dr. Rawaa Kayally, a member of the teaching staff at the Faculty of Dentistry, presented a research entitled: The Community Knowledge and Practices with Regards to COVID-19: An Online Cross-sectional Study in Syria Funded by Al wataniya Private University, the research plan was outlined by multiple professors at the University and the research was conducted with the participation of professors from various Syrian Universities. Published in the European Journal for biochemical and pharmaceutical sciences, the aim of the research was to assess the Syrian community’s knowledge about COVID-19, to evaluate the degree of commitment to the precautionary procedures and to define the factors affecting this commitment. The research team members are: Dr.Prof.. Hussein Al-Issa and Dr. Rawaa Al Kayyali (Al-Watanyia Private University), Dr. Abdullah Khoury and Dr. Ahmad Jadou (University of Aleppo), Dr. Walid Khaddam (Al-Baath University), Dr. Mazen Salloum (Tishreen University Hospital), Dr. Salah Shehadeh (Damascus University) The cross-sectional study was conducted on the Internet at the end of June 2020 among Syrian internet users; the sample size was 4,336 individuals from 14 governorates. The ages of the participants ranged between 15-73 years. The majority of the participants were women (59.2%), of the sample size, (43.4%) had a university degree or higher, 29.7% were reported to be enrolled in healthcare/medical fields, and (72.3%) were urban dwellers. Apparently, half of the total sample size were from the central region governorates of Syria. The study showed that 73.7% of sample size have good knowledge of Covid-19 disease, especially the main symptoms, the incubation period, methods of transmission and means of prevention. This is of great importance, as it’s an indicator for public awareness about dealing with infectious diseases, which plays a vital role in limiting the spread of infection. Adherence to government measures to contain the epidemic, was found to closely related to the level of knowledge of the disease The largest knowledge gap between the participants was related to the treatment of the disease. One of the study findings reported that 19.8% of the participants believed that antibiotics were effective for treating covid-19 Furthermore, the study also revealed that (65.8%) of the participants adhered to precautions to avoid infection with the COVID-19 virus, such as staying at home, avoiding shaking hands, and practicing regular hand-wash. In the same context, only 52.5% of the participants committed to wearing a facemask in crowded places, which is less than what has been reported in other countries. The reason is probably that half of the participants believed that COVID-19 is not a dangerous disease and expressed no fear of contracting it. The statistics show that senior citizens and homemakers showed a lower level of knowledge and a greater degree of commitment to preventive measures compared to other age segments and occupational groups On the same note, 58.6% of the total sample size emphasized that quarantine procedures are necessary. While 68.7% said that, the quarantine measures affected them financially. Remarkably, the participants were found to be performing procedures to strengthen their immunity, as about (74.2%) of the participants recorded their intake of vitamins and citrus fruits, while (44.2%) of them reported drinking boiled medicinal herbs in order to prevent infection. These herbs are Well- known for being part of the traditional medicine that many Syrians used to take, and the most frequently used herbs were chamomile, wild thyme, rosemary, hyssop and sage. Besides, participants were asked to identify the sources of their information about Covid-19. The most common sources of knowledge were as follows: TV / satellite channels (92.1%), social media (78.1%), health and medical friends (66.7%), followed by scientific websites on the Internet. Internet (39.1%). Researchers recommend the continuation of spreading awareness about this disease through visual media and social media, as they appeared essential sources for knowledge for most of the Syrians, as revealed in the research

the link of the Research:

KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES TOWARD COVID-19 AMONG POPULATION: AN ONLINE-BASED CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY FROM SYRIA