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Exploring the Thin Line Between Misinformation and Facts in the Era of COVID-19 in Selected Border Counties of Kenya.

Stephen Oloo Ajwang, Enock Mac'Ouma



Introduction: Information seeking behavior of the affected populations during a pandemic is believed to significantly influence the way the population manages the epidemic and curb its spread. This study sought to identify and profile reliable sources of information that the residents of Migori and Homa-Bay Counties in Kenya could use to curb the spread of COVID-19 virus and enhance efficient management of risks associated with the pandemic.

Material and Methods: A survey method was used in which quantitative data was generated through administration of online questionnaires to 250 participants which were purposively selected. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and results presented in form of tables and graphs. A survey method was used in which quantitative data was generated through administration of online questionnaires to 250 participants which were purposively selected. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and results presented in form of tables and graphs.

Results: The study found out that the top 3 frequently used sources information was television, official government press releases and social media. The study also found out that there was high correlation between the sources that were frequently used and their perceived credibility with a coefficient of R2=0.8426. English was the most preferred language for use in sharing information. Further, the respondents preferred to receive information based on how to protect self and the family.

Conclusion: To counter the spread of misinformation, the study has therefore profiled information sources and recommended that television, official government press releases and properly managed social media should be used to package and share relevant COVID-19 information to reach the target population.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v10i1.276


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