213190 Sub-Saharan Africa health care workers (HCWs) knowledge of universal precautions (UP), exposure to blood borne pathogens, and availability of protective apparel/equipment

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Melanie Coffman, RN, BSN , School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
C. Florence Nwoga, RN, MSN, MPH , Department of Family and Community Health, University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Emilia Iwu, MS, RN, CRNP , School of Nursing and Institute for Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Mercy Omozuafoh, RN , Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria
Jeffrey V. Johnson, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Asabe Gomwalk, RN , Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria
Kate McPhaul, PhD, MPH, RN , Work and Health Research Center, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Barbara Smith, RN, PhD , School of Nursing, Office of Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Background: About 4.5% of HIV and 45% of hepatitis B&C cases among HCWs worldwide result from needle-stick injuries (NSI). In Sub-Saharan Africa where there is a severe shortage of HCWs and a high rate of HIV, it is imperative to develop interventions that reduce NSI thus reducing cases of HIV, HBV, and HCV in HCWs.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess HCWs knowledge of universal precautions (UP), their exposure to blood or bodily fluids from NSI, and the availability and use of protective apparel/equipment in 3 Nigerian Hospitals.

Methods: An anonymous survey was distributed to 90 nurses and midwives at 3 hospitals in and around Abuja, Nigeria.

Results: While more than 80% of participants knew what was meant by UP and believed they should be universally applied almost 40% did not think they should be applied to those with HIV, HBV, HCV. It was encouraging that 90% of those surveyed believed needles should not be recapped. Although 50% of those surveyed admitted having an NSI, only 20% reported the injury to appropriate personnel. Employers routinely provided gloves (75%) and sharps containers (93%), while few employers provided impermeable gowns (60%), face shields (25%), and rubber boots (40%).

Discussion: Data from this study will be used to develop resources and interventions in order to reduce occupational exposure and inform HCW education programs in Nigeria.

Learning Objectives:
APHA conference attendees will be able to describe Nigerian health care workers knowledge of Universal Precautions after presentation. APHA attendees will be able to disuss Nigerian health care workers expososure to needle stick injuries after presentation

Keywords: Occupational Exposure, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a graduate student majoring in public health nursing as well as global health. Spent 6 weeks in Nigeria conducting pilot work related to occupational health
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.