Unconventional Products for COVID-19 Prevention: Practices, Experiences and Perceptions of Frontline Workers in Borno State, Nigeria


  • Ahmed DB Department of Community Health, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Mohammed AM World Health Organisation, Dalori Street, Maiduguri, Nigeria
  • Jamilu N 3. National Malaria Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Salamatu SA 4. Department of Hospital Services, Kaduna State Ministry of Health, ABUTH Annex, Zaria, Nigeria
  • Olubiyi OA 5. Vaccine and Immunity Theme, MRC Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Banjul, The Gambia




COVID-19, perception, prevention, unconventional products, frontline workers


Background: Numerous unconventional products have been suggested for protection against COVID-19 infection, and health workers tend to be regarded as role models in terms of health behaviour. The study aimed at exploring the misuse of unconventional products for self-protection against COVID-19 by frontline health workers.

Method: This study utilised a mixed method design comprising a cross-sectional survey and in-depth interviews. Standardised questionnaires and interview guides developed based on the health belief model were used to collect information from the respondents. Statistical analysis used: The quantitative data obtained from the survey were analysed statistically to determine the predictors of using those products while thematic analysis was conducted for the qualitative data from the interviews.

Result: A total of 225 frontline workers comprising medical doctors, nurses, community health workers, environmental health workers, surveillance notification officers, laboratory scientists/technicians, cleaners/porters, drivers, and others, answered the survey. Half of the respondents (50.7%) reported they had taken some unconventional medications/products, majorly garlic, Chloroquine, and Vitamin C to protect themselves from COVID-19. Belief that those unconventional products were beneficial (OR = 2.37; 95% CI: 1.29-4.37) and having had COVID-like symptoms (OR = 3.63, 95% CI: 1.87-7.03), were predictors of unconventional medications/products use.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of abuse of unconventional products for COVID-19 prevention among frontline workers could adversely affect efforts by health authorities in discouraging the public from abusing them


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How to Cite

BALAMI, A. D., Mohammed Abba Mustapha, Jamilu Nikau, Salamatu Silvia Akor, & Olubiyi Olubunmi Abiola. (2024). Unconventional Products for COVID-19 Prevention: Practices, Experiences and Perceptions of Frontline Workers in Borno State, Nigeria. The Nigerian Health Journal, 23(4), 968–976. https://doi.org/10.60787/tnhj.v23i4.755



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