Information Needs and Seeking Patterns of Rural Dwellers on COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria
This study was carried out to determine the information needs and seeking patterns of rural dwellers on COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Anchored on the Health Belief Model (HBM), the researchers adopted survey research design with the questionnaire used as the research instrument for data collection. Data collected were analysed using a descriptive method, while Multivariate Frequency Distribution Tables and SPSS were the statistical tools used for data analysis. Findings revealed that hand washing, social distancing, use of face-mask, use of hand sanitiser constituted the major information needs of the rural dwellers on COVID-19, compared to other areas like origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, rate of infection and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, causes of COVID-19 pandemic, among others. Finding also revealed in terms of the sources most available to the rural dwellers, it was the traditional media; in term of the one mostly used as official sources by government in reaching the rural areas, it was the mass media; while in terms of the one most trusted by the rural dwellers, it was the community health experts, followed by the mass media. The researchers concluded that information is very vital in the fight against disease outbreak and during the pandemic. Giving priority to all areas of information needs; paying attention also to official sources of information; government’s better priority to the use of traditional media, among others were, therefore, recommended in the study.