208470 Healthcare worker safety in resource constrained settings: The Zambia experience

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oscar Cordon, MD, MPH , International Health Group, CHEMONICS, Washington, DC

Zambia's estimated population stands at 11,297,307(CSO-2000) and the HIV prevalence is 14% (ZDHS 2006). The goal of the USAID-funded medical injection safety project is to prevent the medical transmission of HIV and other blood borne infections such as Hepatitis B and C to health care workers as well as community members accessing public and private community-based health facilities. The project's focus on preventing the medical transmission of HIV/AIDS includes a focus on the creation of safe environments for health workers and clients.


During baseline data collection at the start of the project, the project found low levels of provision of post-exposure prophylaxis and Hepatitis B vaccination and inadequate use of personal protective equipment. The project compared these results to those following project interventions, using quantitative and qualitative data, including in-depth interviews, observation, and cross checks to compare baseline data to data during the project cycle.


After project interventions: Post-exposure prophylaxis provision improved from 37.3% to 69.2%, needle stick injuries were reduced from 17.6% to 11.2%, and stock out of IP/IS commodities were significantly reduced (sharp boxes from 56.9% to 20.5% and disposable needles from 42.3% to 15%).


Cost effective interventions, introduced through a combination of training, supportive supervision, and procurement support, can be valuable in achieving significant improvements in infection prevention and injection safety practices.

Learning Objectives:
Participants attending this session will be able to share with others the role of health care worker safety in resource-constrained settings, in relation to needle stick injuries, personal protective equipment, and provision of post exposure prophylaxis and hepatitis B vaccination, based on the Zambian experience.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Injury Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working more than twenty years in the field of public health and I am qualified for that reason for this presentation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.