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INFORMATION NEEDS AND RESOURCE UTILIZATION AMONGST COVID-19 REMEDIAL PRACTITIONERS IN HOSPITALS IN KWARA STATE

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DEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

Abstract

The socioeconomic standing of the majority of countries in the world, including Nigeria, has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 in general. The necessity to address issues related to COVID-19 patients’ information demands and resource use has become unavoidable. In general, Nigeria’s health system is visibly underdeveloped, making it difficult to provide those who have this fatal infection with the resources they need for a quick recovery. The information and resources used by COVID-19 patients differ from those used by most other illnesses or viruses, so is significantly higher to adequately meet their information needs while also providing COVID-19 patients with adequate resources to aid in their process of reintegrating into society. Due to the difficulties, they have, mostly with breathing, COVID-19 patients frequently inquire about their prospects of survival as well as whether or not additional family members have the virus. The spread of this dangerous disease will increase if there is little information. In light of this, this study explores the information demands and resource usage of COVID-19 patients in Kwara State hospitals. According to the research, communities in Kwara State need to be made aware of their odds of surviving COVID-19, and COVID-19 patients have different information requirements.

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1       Background to the study

The coronavirus disease 2019, popularly known as “COVID-19” pandemic is a ravaging virus that is caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus cannot on its own spread from one person to another. Just like most other respiratory infections, COVID-19 can be transmitted through a number of means that are known as its modes of transmission. They include having body contact with COVID-19 infected persons, and transmission through droplets from infected persons.  According to the world health organization (W.H.O) 2020, when a COVID-19-infected person sneezes, the population of living things in 6fts aside stand a risk of contracting the virus through the air, this is why the virus is described as an airborne disease. Literally, it is hard to believe that such a deadly virus can be airborne, its airborne transmission may be possible in specific circumstances and settings that support its transmission.                     

Health experts are of the belief that coronavirus most likely originated from animals like Bats or Pangolins. The first identified spread of the virus to humans was in Wuhan, Hubei, in China. A study of the first forty-one (41) cases of coronavirus was in Wuhan city in China, this date back to December 2019.  Vinay Prasad and Jeffrey S. Flier (2020) stated that in ascertaining the severity of the virus, America does not need to take every scientist’s idea seriously, as it may be misleading or full of misinformation. At the time of its initial spread in 2019, the virus was given other several names like “Wuhan virus” and “Wuhan pneumonia”. There are other general assumptions regarding the origin of the virus as being a laboratory virus in Wuhan city that was mistakenly released, this thought was later shut when the reality of the origin of the virus shows that its initial outbreak was among animals dating back to 1965. By December 2019, the transmission of the deadly infection had worldwide headlines. Several assumptions instead of facts were used to judge the origin and nature of the virus. In Nigeria, the first recorded and confirmed case of the virus was on the 27th of February, 2020, following the visit of an Italian citizen. As much as the virus had worldwide headlines in the early months of 2020, some Nigerians were of the belief that the virus does not exist while others even opine that they can’t be infected with the virus. COVID-19 spread rapidly in Nigeria from January 2020 to April of the same year, during this period, the government shut down public places, workplaces, religious gatherings and social gatherings, the government of Nigeria implemented the use of safety guidelines to abate further the spread of the deadly virus.

The manifestation of the COVID-19 virus varies from one person to another, according to the world health organization (W.H.O) in 2020, Most individuals that were infected with the virus experienced mild to moderate respiratory illness and they recover without requiring special treatment. The most common symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and sneeze, tiredness or body weakening, and loss of taste or smell. Also, the less common symptoms of the virus are the manifestation of sore throat, persistent headache, aches and body pain, diarrhoea, a rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes, and red or irritated eyes.  However, some especially the aged populace of society may have a different experience with the virus, this involves having the slight illness serious thereby requiring medical attention. The aged members of society are much more prone to its long manifestation and action than the youths and children. It is also worthy of note that anyone can get infected with the COVID19 virus and become obviously ill or even die as a result regardless of their age.  Iftimie (2021) stated that while some countries only experienced a lone wave of the outbreak of the virus, some other countries experienced two waves of it with the second being more massive than it first.

  Scientist and health workers believed that the best way to further avert the transmission of this deadly virus is to be well informed of the virus, knowing about the virus, how it spread or get transmitted and the early signs of its infection. It is believed that the virus can be transmitted from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they sneeze, cough, speak closely, sing or breathe closely to an uninfected person. (W.H.O) in 2019 highlighted some steps to practice in preventing the transmission of the virus, they are:

  1. Stay at least 1 metre apart from others, even if they don’t appear sick.
  2. Wear a properly fitted mask when physical distancing is not possible or when in poorly ventilated settings.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  4. If you feel unwell, stay home and self-isolate until you recover
  5. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  6. Get vaccinated when a vaccine is available to you
  7. Choose an open, well-ventilated space over closed ones. Open the windows if necessary.

In treating COVID-19, some medical experts believed that taking Chloroquine is helpful in alleviating the pain of infection with COVID-19.  Chloroquine is a drug that has been used worldwide as an anti-malarial as well as for the treatment of immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. The first indication of a potential effect of chloroquine on a COVID-19 patient’s infection came from a report during the China outbreak. In this study, results from more than 100 patients demonstrated that chloroquine inhibited the exacerbation of pneumonia, improved lung imaging findings, promoted a virus-negative conversion and shortening of the disease course. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, previous studies with chloroquine had shown its ability to inhibit in vitro the viral replication of another coronavirus, responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome. It was later concluded that chloroquine cannot cure but can alleviate the pain of COVID-19. Also, excessive intake of Vitamin-C was proffer as a solution. It was tipped to help strengthen the human immune system. This extra strength was believed to be helpful in the fight against not getting infected with the virus. The rapid spread of the virus generally caused unrest across the world, this caused the temporary stop of most works and business places.

Like every other member of society, COVID-19 patients have information needs and resources that are expected to be at their disposal for personal and easy use. Information needs of people living with COVID-19 in hospitals in Kwara state will be the core of consideration in this research work. Generally, the information needs of COVID-19 patients vary slightly from other members of the society. The intensity and fear created by the disease alone scare people, and this adversely increases the questions of patients regarding their chances of survival. Their information needs and resources used are worthy of research, this is what this research work seeks to bring to the view of researchers. By 30th August 2021, the state commissioner for Health, Raji Rasaq, declared that Kwara state has had a confirmed three thousand five hundred and thirteen (3513) cases of COVID-19 with fifty-seven (57) death toll (Kwara State News, 2021). This figure is doubted by the inhabitants of Kwara state as they claim they barely know anyone who is infected with the virus. Danielle M. McLaughlin in her publication on the impact of COVID-19 and risk assessment states that some groups of individuals have a different school of thought about the mode of transmission of the virus, with some having that the risks associated with COVID-19 have been largely exaggerated

1.2       Statement of the problem

The spread and transmission of this deadly virus has not completely since its inception and its impact on our economic life still stands. COVID-19 has as well changed the structure of human society in such a way that it has adapted human beings to new development and the use of devices to further avoid the transmission of the spread, that is, the use of face masks, hand sanitizer and use of vaccine e.t.c. As much as this has changed the conformity of human society, COVID-19 generally has had a whole lot of devastating effects on the socioeconomic stand of most nations across the world with Nigeria as an inclusion. It has become inevitable to address the problems that go with the information needs and resource utilization of people living with COVID-19. Basically, Nigeria’s health sector is noticeably poor to help patients with this deadly virus with the adequate resources they need for fast recovery. Also, it is interesting to note that the information needs of patients are not sufficiently answered. Geoffrey P. Dobson (2020) opined that the massive outbreak of the virus highlights the Government’s deficiency in yielding to early warnings from the world health organization on the virus.

 The information and resources used by COVID-19 patients vary from most other ailments or viruses, this is why is considerably high to sufficiently cater for their information needs and at the same time provide COVID-19 patients with adequate resources to assist in their normalization process back into the society. Patients of COVID-19 most often ask questions about their chances of survival, they as well seek to know if other members of their family are not infected with the virus because of the very trouble they come across majorly in breathing. Without adequate information, the spread of this deadly disease will continue to go higher. It is against this backdrop that this study undertakes information needs and resources utilization of people living with COVID-19 in Hospital’s in Kwara State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study seeks to examine and as well serve as a basis for further research on the core of information needs and resource utilization of people living with COVID-19 with specifications to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. The purpose of this study is to establish that COVID-19 patients of the University of Ilorin teaching hospital have information needs which differ from the information needs of other patients across other centres. The objectives of this research are:

  • To ascertain the varying information needs of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Kwara state.
  • To acknowledge the resources that are important for the quick recovery of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Kwara state.
  • To determine the level of awareness and the preventive measures of the reality of COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals in Kwara state.
  • To determine the vulnerability and longevity of the virus among patients in Kwara state.

1.4    Research Questions

This study is literally set up to provide or proffer adequate answers to the under-listed research questions:

  •  What are the information needs of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Kwara state?
  • What are the resources needed for the quick recovery of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Kwara state?
  • What preventive measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus in Kwara state?
  • How vulnerable is the virus and how long does it take to get totally treated in Kwara state?

1.5       Research Hypothesis

  • Hypothesis 1: There is a significant difference in the information needs of COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State based on their professional roles
  • Hypothesis 2: There is a significant difference in the resource utilization patterns among COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State based on their level of experience in handling COVID-19 cases.
  • Hypothesis 3: COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State who have access to updated and reliable information sources demonstrate better resource utilization compared to those with limited access

1.6       Significance of the Study

This research aims at solving the societal problem of information needs and resources used by COVID-19 patients. The research further explores the misconception of the general society about the origination of coronavirus. The origin of the virus, and means of spreading the virus, also the age with the worst reactivity with the virus. This research is posed to be significant to society at large because of its correction of societal beliefs on the nature of the virus. Through the study, the researcher is offered greater opportunities to appreciate the work of our health workers in the fight against the Coronavirus outbreak.

1.7        Scope of the Study  

The scope of this study was to examine the information needs and the resource utilization amongst COVID-19 remedial Practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State, Nigeria. The research will cover the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin and serve as the population of the study. The research as well covers the mode of transmission of the virus from one person to another, outlining the modes of transmission of the virus and its preventive measures as stated by the World Health Organization. This research as well seeks to ascertain the reactions of various ages and genders to the virus. The opinion of people in society regarding the virus was as well considered. Majorly, this research work seeks to ascertain beyond doubt, the information needs and resource utilization of People living with COVID-19 with the area of concentration or case study limited to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara state.

1.8       Limitations of the Study

Studying the information needs and resource utilization among COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State is an important research topic. However, like any research study, it may have certain limitations. Here are some potential limitations that researchers may encounter when conducting this study:

Sample size and representativeness: The study’s findings may be limited by the size and representativeness of the sample. If the sample size is small or not diverse enough, the results may not be generalizable to the entire population of COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State.

Recall bias: Participants may have difficulty accurately recalling their information needs and resource utilization over a specific period. This can impact the reliability of the data and lead to inaccuracies or omissions in the reported information.

Contextual factors: The study’s findings may be influenced by contextual factors specific to Kwara State, such as the healthcare infrastructure, resources available, and cultural factors. Therefore, the results may not be directly applicable to other regions or countries.

Time constraints: Conducting research during a pandemic can present time constraints and logistical challenges. Researchers may have limited access to participants or face difficulties in data collection due to the demanding nature of the participants’ work.

Lack of control group: Without a control group or a comparison with other healthcare practitioners, it may be challenging to determine whether the information needs and resource utilization among COVID-19 remedial practitioners in hospitals in Kwara State are unique or similar to other healthcare professionals.

To curtail these limitations, researchers should carefully design their study, select an appropriate sample size, employ rigorous data collection methods, and consider the limitations in their data analysis and interpretation.

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms

  • COVID-19: This is a laboratory name for coronavirus. The “19” was added from the year of its first outbreak on human beings in China. COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Wikipedia defined COVID-19 as a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. While COVID-19 is the generally known name, Coronavirus is the disease.
  • SARS-CoV-2:  this is a scientific or laboratory acronym for “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2.
  • WHO: this is an acronym for an organization known as the “world health organization”. This organization is charged with responsibilities such as regulating drug use and production, curtailing outbreaks of deadly viruses and diseases and also the attainment of the highest possible level of health.
  • Information needs: the term “information needs” refers to the state of information search, seeking and human information behaviour. Information needs according to IGI global dictionary is an individual or group’s desire to locate and obtain information to satisfy a conscious or unconscious need.
  • Resource utilization: Resource utilization refers to equipment and materials used to carry out an activity. Resource utilization has various meanings outside the scope of this research.
  • Patients: Oxford Dictionary defined a Patient as “a person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment”. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a patient as “an individual awaiting or under medical care and treatment”.
  • UITH- This is an acronym for the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. The hospital belongs to the second generation of Teaching Hospitals which were established by law on 2nd of May 1980.

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