Assessment of the Knowledge and Practice of Universal Precaution for the Prevention of HIV Transmission by Health Workers in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State Nigeria
The increasing prevalence of HIV increases the risk that health workers will be exposed to patients infected with HIV, especially when blood and body- fluid precautions are not followed for all patients. The objective of the study was to assess the knowledge of health workers on HIV/ AIDS as well as their practice of universal precaution with regards to HTVI AIDS.
This was a cross sectional study conducted among health workers in selected health facilities in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau state in north central Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 104 health workers that are directly involved in patient care from 5 health facilities made up of a General Hospital and 4 Primary Health Centres. The data collection instrument was a structured interviewer administered questionnaire that obtained data on health workers' bio-data, knowledge of transmission of HIV, knowledge on universal precautions, practice of universal precautions, and the prevention of HIV transmission by health workers.
A total of 104 respondents were recruited for the study. The mean age of the health workers was 42.6 ± 7.9years with 69(66.3%) females and 35(33.7%) males. All (100%) of the respondents were aware of HIV/AIDS and 78 (75.0%) knew that the disease has no cure. Modes of transmission that were recognized by the participants included sex [90(86.5%)] pregnancy [55(53.4%)], delivery [85(81.7)]. Most of the respondents were able to identify components of UPs. Hand washing was identified by 85(81.7%), use ofPPE by 83(80.6%), safe collection and disposal of sharps by 99(95.2%) and prevention of injury from sharps by 96(92.3%). Among the respondents 88 (84.6%)practiced hand washing regularly when handling patients / carrying out procedures. General use of Personal Protective Equipment's (PPE) was reported by 85 (81.7%) though consistent use was reported by only 54(63.5%). PPE that are used by the respondents included gloves (93.1%), safety goggles (11.5%), apron (29.8%), boots (18.4%), facemask (25.3%) and gowns (21.8%). Also, 34(32.7%) had experienced splashing of bodily fluids to the mouth, 28(26.9%) splashing to the eye, 38(36.5%) splashing to non-intact skin and 65(63.7%) had sustained percutaneous injury. The devices commonly causing injury included hypodermic needles (52.2%), suture needle (26.1%) and intravenous stylet (14.5).
This study conducted among 104 health workers showed good knowledge of various aspects of HTV/AIDS and UPs. Most were found to use PPE especially gloves, sharp boxes for disposal and regular hand washing. Up 64% had experienced exposures of various types of which less than half had been reported. Periodic re- training of the health workers would be of immense benefit in cultivating safe practices hence reducing the risk of injury and infection.
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