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IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN RAISING AWARENESS OF CORONAVIRUS IN NIGERIA

(Last Updated On: 8th January 2023)

ABSTRACT: The study objective was to investigate the contribution of social media to increasing awareness of coronavirus. Since there was no vaccination for the virus until recently when there are new vaccines, it is not overstated that during the spread of the coronavirus many people were restless and panicked about the virus as a result people were focusing on ways to prevent the virus. The research was based on the Source Credibility and Technology Determinism Theories. A survey research method was used, and 384 respondents were given questionnaires to complete. The sample size was calculated using the Krejcie & Morgan method. Descriptive statistics with a focus on the frequency and percentage method was used to evaluate the data gathered. According to the study’s findings, Facebook was and is currently useful in developing awareness campaigns and controlling the spread of COVID-19 because a sizable portion of respondents strongly agreed with this statement. Additionally, respondents have a favorable opinion on Facebook awareness of COVID19. Facebook is widely utilized to find out about COVID19. Facebook has undoubtedly contributed to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the main obstacles during the outbreak of COVID19 have been bogus news, information overload, and electricity. In order to avoid being associated with those who will be publishing and disseminating unverified information that could lead to disasters, the study advised users of social media, particularly Facebook, to develop strong writing and publishing skills as well as to keep in mind the ethics and laws related to these activities.


Keywords: AWARENESS OF CORONAVIRUS


Title page                                                                                                                   

Certification                                                                                                               

Dedication                                                                                                                  

Acknowledgement                                                                                                     

Table of Content                                                                                                      

Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

1.2       Statement of the Problem

1.3       Objectives of the Study

1.4       Research Questions

1.5       Significance of the Study

1.6       Scope of the Study

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

            References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

            Introduction

2.1       CONCEPTUAL REVIEW

2.1.1    Overview of Coronavirus ( COVID-19)

2.1.2    Warning Symptoms of Coronavirus

2.1.3    Prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

2.1.4    Coronavirus (COVID-19)Risk Factors

2.1.5    Coronavirus (COVID-19)Transmission Mode

2.1.6    Myths, Misconceptions and Fabrications about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

2.1.7    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparation Tips

2.1.8    Campaigns and Awareness of COVID-19

2.1.9    Concept of Social Media and Social Networking Site (SNSs)

2.1.10  Historical Perspectives of Social Media

2.1.11  Concept of Facebook

2.1.12  Social Media (Facebook) for Coronavirus Awareness

2.1.13  Facebook and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria

2.1.14  How Social Media (Facebook) Create Awareness among People

2.1.15  Facebook as a Tool for Social Distancing

2.1.16  Contribution of Facebook to Address Coronavirus

2.1.17  Social Media (Facebook) for Fake News and Misinformation

2.1.18  Statistics of Coronavirus in World

2.2       EMPIRICAL STUDIES

2.2.1    Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Towards COVID-19: An Epidemiological Survey in North-Central Nigeria

2.2.2    Influence of Social Media Platforms on Public Health Protection Against the COVID-19 Pandemic via the Mediating Effects of Public Health Awareness and Behavioral Changes: Integrated Model

2.2.3    The Impact of Social Media on Panic During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Iraqi Kurdistan: Online Questionnaire Study

2.2.4    Sensitization and Awareness Creation as Tools for Curbing Perceived Effects of COVID- 19 Pandemic on University Library Users in Nigeria

2.2.5    Importance of effective communication during COVID-19 Infodemic

2.2.6    Internet  Meme  as  a  Campaign  Tool  to  the  Fight  against  Covid-19  in  Nigeria

2.2.7    COVID-19 Knowledge, Risk Perception, and Precautionary Behavior Among Nigerians: A Moderated Mediation Approach

2.2.8    Using Social Media to Communicate Sustainable Preventive Measures and Curtail Misinformation.

2.3       THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

3.3.1    Technology Determinism Theory

3.3.2    Source Credibility Theory

2.5       CHAPTER SUMMARY

            References

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.0       Introduction

3.1       Research Design

3.2       Research Method

3.3       Population of Study

3.5       Sampling Technique

3.6       Data Collection Instruments 

3.7       Source of Data

3.9       Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument

3.10     Administration of Data Collection Instrument

3.11     Data Analysis Method

            References

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION

4.1       Data Analysis

4.2       Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary

5.2       Conclusion

5.3       Recommendations     

5.4       Limitations to the study

            References

            Appendix


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

The emergence of Corona-virus as a global pandemic is of paramount concern to the world and researchers in particular as a result, libraries on daily bases witness influx of researches (Annune, Agoh & Annune, 2020). The coronavirus disease otherwise known as (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. It was first reported by WHO on the 31st of December 2019 and the virus emerged from Wuhan, China. The cause of the disease was soon confirmed as a novel coronavirus, and the infection has since spread to many countries worldwide and has become a pandemic disease (Araz & Hersh, 2020). Several websites and mass media have disseminated information about COVID-19 and have given different instructions to their audience about ways to prevent the spread of the virus, such as keeping a distance between themselves and others, using masks, and washing their hands or using alcohol base hand sanitizer.

However, Nigeria Center for Disease Control  (NCDC,  2020)  affirmed  that, Corona-virus  is  a new  strain  of  the  virus  that  has not  been  previously  identified inhuman beings. They advanced that, SARS-Cov-2 is the virus that causes corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease was initially named as the 2019-novel corona-virus (2019-nCoV) on 12 January 2020  but  was  later  officially  named  by  World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  as  corona-virus disease  2019  (COVID-19). Although, Annune Agoh & Annune (2020) cited in  Guo etal,  (2020)  stated  that,  Corona-virus  Study Group (CSG)  of  the  Inter-national  Committee  proposed  to  name  the  new  Corona-virus  as SARS-CoV-2,  both  was  issued  on  11  February  2020.

Medical experts noted that the virus transmit to another person when  an individual comes in contact with an infected person, there are high chances of an individual becoming a victim and the end result in most cases is death as no vaccine has being discovered yet until recent when there are lots of emerging  vaccines. As a result, governments adopt sensitization and awareness creation as tools to curb the spread of this notorious COVID-19 (Araz & Hersh, 2020).

Annune Agoh & Annune (2020) cited in WHO (2020), noted that Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a flu-like illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome. It  is  an  unknown  acute  respiratory disease  that spreads mainly through  the  respiratory  tract  killing  thousands  of  people  across the  nations,  countries  and  continents. 

NCDC (2020) affirmed that the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the first case of COVID19 on 27th February 2020 in Lagos adding that the victim was Italian citizen but work in Nigeria who returned from Milan, Italy. His case was confirmed by Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. It should be noted that coronavirus case across the globe is high as 127,519,788 out of which 2,792,568 deaths is recoded while 102,778,857 recovered. According to NCDC (2021) coronavirus case across Nigeria is 162,641, 150,466 have been discharged whereas 2049 have dead from COVID19 complication out of a total of 1,767,694 sampled. Lagos, FCT, Plateau, Kaduna, Rivers, Oyo, Edo, Ogun, Kano, Ondo and Kwara states were that states mostly affected (NCDC, 2021). It should be noted that as of 29th, March 2021 NCDC confirmed 48 cases.

Also, the first lockdown was on Monday, 30th March 2020 mainly for Lagos, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Ogun State. It should be added that the lockdown was announced as part of the measures to contain the spread of the virus because NCDC confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country to be risen to 111 in the country (Olarewaju, 2020). Later across the country which led to emergency closure of all schools, business (market), religion places, social gathering, work from home, virtual meetings etc.

However, mass media ( radio, television, newspaper, billboard) etc and new media ( website, blog, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Instagram) are employ to create awareness in order for the public to be fully aware especially the preventive measure as there is no vaccine for the virus at that time so the best is to avoid having it. Social media is an efficient source of information and an effective means for staying abreast of the vast amount of medical knowledge especially for keeping social distancing as one the ways to avert the spread of the virus.

The situation of the corona outbreak also affected the decision‐making of government and organisation (Al Eid & Arnout, 2020). However, to reduce the physical interaction and get awareness, or update regarding current situation, social media platforms have become significant tool for communication and the continuation for the people’s routines. Bailey, Bonifield, and Arias (2018) examined that online social networking sites are useful to measure and to understand the geographical structure of the social networks.

Social distancing, travel restrictions, quarantine, and closing the business outlets have changed the fabric of society. With people have been forced out of the safety and well‐being of their routine, their social media have taken at the center stage more than ever, and to global social networking and discussions (Chan, Nickson, Rudolph, Lee, & Joynt, 2020; Thelwall & Thelwall, 2020). The social media information have a wide effect on the individuals and groups that connect to the online world to seek information for families, friends, and the general public (Mageto, 2019).

Meanwhile, during the lockdown and aftermath lots of users used Facebook to seek understanding and information about COVID 19 especially the symptoms , preventive measures and treatment etc. therefore, for the purpose of this study, effort will be dwell on Facebook especially how it was employed to seek relevant information about COVID 19. Hence, it is against this backdrop that this study investigates impact of social media on raising awareness on coronavirus among students of Osun State University, Osogbo.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

During the outbreak of Coronavirus, how to prevent it was the major information and knowledge that everyone is seeking because is a new disease with some death recorded in foreign countries where they are not only advanced technological but also advanced in man power. This has necessitated the need for help of technological tools like Facebook not only to ease but also to make the information and opinions search and shared quickly. Information and Communication Technology especially social media and particularly Facebook has brought a number of improvement to information seeking (Kwanya, 2014; Bui & Moran, 2020).

However, Simpson and Obdalova (2014) argument was that, to perform optimally in this digital age, one has to be digital literate and up to date in the skillful use of the modern technology like Facebook. Hence, Fortunati and O’Sullivan, (2020) assert that the internet has also stood as inseparable from the digital mobile device, as it garners better and easier access to internet on it. Owing to this, the WWW and Internet are indispensable information gathering tools which present users a wide and large range of information.

Nonetheless, studies have revealed that most Nigerians lack the requisite knowledge/finesse to operate in the new media environment (Facebook) that is transforming the nature and mode of operation of the society (Obijiofor, 2003; Obalanlege, 2015; Okon & Eleba, 2013; Agbo & Chukwuma, 2017; Nwagbara & Asak, 2016; Bui & Moran, 2020).

It is germane, though unfortunate, to add here that the new technologies in society has increased the craze of unethical practices (where anyone can just write and disseminate information on the web without editing), thereby threatening the integrity and dignity of the new technology especially when people are crazy about information about COVID19.

Similarly, Wilson (2007) had argued that overwhelming quantity of unevaluated information with regards to accuracy and relevance poses a big problem of credibility or the possibility of misleading users seeking information. In this respect, skills to access and sift through the mountain of information available on the Internet, as well as to use only salient, relevant and credible information is of essence to people. This is a huge task for people who are not trained in the knowledge and application of Internet tools.

In Nigeria, one is not certain to what extent people employing the use of social media (Facebook) in seeking the right information about COVID-19, based on their relative knowledge and skills (Nwanne, 2016). This study therefore investigated the impact of social media on raising awareness on coronavirus among students of Osun State University, Osogbo.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To investigate the extent which social media has effectively use in creating awareness on the spread of Covid-19 among students of Osun State University, Osogbo.
  2. To examine the attitude of students of Osun State University, Osogbo towards the use of social media in creating awareness in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

1.5       Research Questions

  1. To what extent is social media effective in awareness campaign on the spread of Covid- 19 among students of Osun State University, Osogbo?
  2. What is the attitude of students of Osun State University, Osogbo towards the use of social media in creating awareness in curbing the spread of COVID-19?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study is intended at finding out the level of knowledge that patients have about COVID-19 prior to the time they are victims. This study is also essential to serve stakeholders in the health sector with the needed insight and encouragement to do more in the area of COVID-19.

This study will equip both the patients and the public at large on COVID-19 ranging from the COVID-19 statistics, causes, warning symptoms, preventive tips, control measure, myths and others while it will equally educate them on the benefit associated with vaccination so that lots of people will offer themselves for vaccination. 

Government and policy formulators will equally benefit from the research to make laws that will improve infrastructure and regulations of health sector particularly in addressing COVID-19 and other related issues while it will make private investors establish in health sector. Also, the government will see the need to equip the hospitals with tools and personnel to be able to cater for COVID-19.

This study will help journalists to be more proactive in their reporting and strategizing especially on how to create the desire campaigns and various awareness programs because awareness carried out by the mass media has the potentials to provoke public discuss on the issues of concern; it will indeed enhance public knowledge and practices that will result into change of attitude and behavior.  Therefore, apart from contributing to health-related research literature, the study among other things will show the extent at which mass media create awareness.

World Health Organisation and other health agencies are going to benefit from this study by gaining insight on the need to create more awareness, education and knowledge on COVID-19 like other diseases and illness in order to make individuals have depth knowledge on the waning symptoms, causes and how to prevent COVID-19 while the findings will go a long way in attracting the attention of government, non-governmental organizations and other foreign organisations who are concerned about how to reduce COVID-19 across the world.

Similarly, the findings of this study will serve as an additional literature on the topic for students and researchers who will like to carry out similar research while, the material will form bulk literature that exist in the field of mass communication, journalism and media studies, etc

1.6       Scope of the Study

The study which investigated impact of social media on raising awareness on coronavirus was narrowed in scope to students of Osun State University, Osogbo. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall within Osun state. The choice of students of Osun state polytechnic Iree was due to the proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all Nigerian students among other logistics.

Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Though the various concepts that in this study is clear, yet, some concepts need to explain for clarity purpose.

Impact: In this study, impact means the contribution of Facebook in curbing the spread of Coronavirus.

Social media: In this study, social media means a platform of responsive communication among people of all ages and professions.

Awareness campaign: It refers to various means of creating enlightenment and educating people about a phenomenon such as the use of radio, TV, social media, billboard, interpersonal communication etc.


“IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON RAISING AWARENESS OF CORONAVIRUS”


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