Objective: To assess and compare knowledge, attitude and practice regarding COVID-19 among medical and nonmedical students of Karachi, Pakistan Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among medical and non-medical students of Karachi, Pakistan from April-May 2020. Male and female students studying in first to fifth year at various medical and non-medical universities of Karachi were inducted through non probability convenience sampling after getting their informed consent. Results: Out of the total 432 students, 331 (76.1%) were female while 101 (23.4%) were male. About 259 (60.0%) medical students and 153 (35.4%) non-medical students were aware about the detection of COVID-19 in their country (p=0.013). More than half of the medical students, 221 (51.4%) and 113 (26.2%) non-medical students knew the unavailability of vaccine against COVID-19 (p ≤ 0.001). A total of 264 (61.1%) medical students and 158 (36.6%) non-medical students agreed that handwashing is necessary for the prevention of infection (p ≤ 0.001). Almost half of the medical students, 201 (46.5%) were of the opinion that smoking will not prevent infection as compared to 80 (18.5) non-medical students (p ≤ 0.001). Similarly, 191 (44.2%) medical students felt that antibiotics will not prevent infection as compared to 74 (17.1%) non-medical students (p ≤ 0.001). Upon comparison of the students pertaining to practice of COVID-19, 123 (28.5%) medical students said that they use alcoholic hand rub as compared to 61 (14.1%) nonmedical students (p=0.043). Conclusion: In conclusion, this research clearly indicates the difference in knowledge, attitude and practice among medical and non-medical students towards COVID-19. This reflects an urgent need of planning more awareness campaigns and health policies to fight against COVID-19. This data can be used to further asses the satisfaction of students at a larger level.
Roheen Sohaira*, Hersha Madan, Varsha Madan, Aqsa Kabir and Sadia Ayub