ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF ICT IN COVID-19 HEALTH EDUCATION
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Pandemics present challenges of an entirely different type than other disease outbreaks or the vast majority of other natural disasters. Because these diseases strike global populations which have no immunological experience with them, their spread is far more rapid, and frequently, more deadly than any comparable disease outbreaks. Essentially by definition, pandemics impact virtually every corner of society almost simultaneously, in contrast with the comparatively contained damage of other events. This leaves little room for the resiliency and flexible reapplication of resources which aids recovery from more localized types of disasters.
Furthermore, unlike other types of disasters, pandemics target not physical infrastructure, but the very human infrastructure which is most necessary to combat them. The longer a disease rages on, and the more it kills and incapacitates vital personnel on the front lines of the response, the weaker the defenses societies can mount against an inferno which burns hotter the more fuel it consumes. The outbreak of Covid-19 is nothing different from the above description of a pandemic.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease that causes respiratory infections ranging from a simple cold to more serious respiratory problems. It started in December 2019 at the Hunan seafood market in Wuhan, China, where live bats, snakes, raccoon dogs, and other wild animals were sold (Shereen et al., 2020, pp. 91–98), and the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. (WHO, 2020).
COVID‐19 outbreak was a global burden and a transnational health threat. By June 15, 2020, the pandemic spread to more than 200 countries, infecting more than seven million people, as it turned into a global health crisis causing fundamental societal changes. However the virus is communicable through contact with effect person, objects and surfaces. In circulating relevant information about the nature, causes, and prevention measures of Covid-19, information communication technology played a crucial role on information dissemination ranging from Radio news, Television broadcast, news papers, and even the internet which attracts millions of audience. More also, many individuals receive information about Covid-19 through internet news channels such as the likes of BBC, CBN Aljezeera.com, fox news and so many more. These ICT medias did not just disseminate information about Covid-19 but also educated the masses on the necessary safety measures to apply in other to minimize the risk of contacting the virus.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In today's global network society, social structure and organizational arrangements are largely made up of information networks powered by informational and communication technologies (ICTs) (Castells, 2000). ICTs, broadly defined here to include internet, platforms, networks, phones, apps, and databases, as well as underlying infrastructure, are a pivotal factor in the existing social order, particularly during the COVID‐19 global pandemic. The importance of ICTs extends beyond identifying, tracing, understanding, managing, treating, and perceiving pandemics (Wilson & Jumbert, 2018). More fundamentally, ICTs are our best chance to maintain social order during a pandemic.
The pandemic was an unprecedented one as the world entirely was ignorant of such a virus. At the time of discovering the nature of this virus, the world Government is faced with the challenge of educating the masses about it, its causes and preventive measures ranging from social distancing, use of sanitizers, cleaning of constantly in contact surfaces, the use of face mask and so many more. however achieving this seemed practically impossible without the aid of ICT. It therefore upon this note that this study seek to examine the role of information communication technology on Covid-19 health education.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The apex aim of this study is to assess the effect of ICT on Coivid-19 health education. Therefore to achieve this the following objectives were formulated:
Investigate if ICT was the major conveyor of information about Covid-19.
Ascertain the level to ICT used by masses during covid-19 pandemic.
Examine the mediums through which individuals were educated about covid-19 using ICT.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
Was ICT the major conveyor of information used to educate the masses about Covid-19?
What is the effect of ICT on Covid-19 health education of the masses?
What are the mediums through which individuals were educated about Covid-19 using ICT?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The results of this analysis would be extremely helpful to the government, organisations, and private sector owners, as it elaborates on the enormous effective roles and value of the ICT as tool to reaching out the world at large. However, based on preferences and study area or emphasis scholars, tutors, lecturers, and even students will find this material useful.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers on the role of ICT on Covid-19 health education, hence the study is limited to private business owners in Orlu, Imo State, NIgeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research project, like all human endeavors, had some challenges that threatened to derail the study's completion.
One of the reasons is that the time allotted for this work was so limited that the researcher did not have enough time to complete the task thoroughly.
During data collection, the researcher also had to put forth extra effort to understand the respondents' interview schedules, several of whom fell within the incomprehensible age group. Also there were financial and transportation constraints to deal with.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ICT: Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals) and computers, as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage and audiovisual, that enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.[
Covid-19: It is also known as corona-virus), which is spread primarily by contact with infectious material (such as respiratory droplets) or infected materials or surfaces. It is characterized by fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure.