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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-53

The practice of Universal Precautions among health workers in South East Nigeria: What factors matter?

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Elele, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Madonna University Teaching Hospital, Elele, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C C Agunwa
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka/Teaching Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7324/jcm.v22i1.8

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Background: There is a constant presence of occupational hazards as health care workers carry out their various clinical activities in hospitals and other medical facilities. More than 90% of the occupational infections occur in developing countries like Nigeria. Following repeated outbreaks of infectious diseases in the country only consistent practice of universal precautions will prevent disease transmission within health facilities and onward into communities. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess practice of these precautions among health workers and identify what factors influence them. Materials and Methods: Using a multistage sampling technique, a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was carried out in January 2016 among 304 health workers at the Federal Medical Center, Owerri, Nigeria. Chi square analysis was used to identify factors associated with good levels of practice and logistic regression to ascertain the determinants of universal precaution practice. Statistical significant was set at P ≤ 0.05. Results: There was a good level of practice of precautions; 253/304 (83.2%) with strong association observed with level of education (P<0.001), department (P=0.01), occupation (P<0.001), knowledge (P=0.000), education on precautions (P<0.01) and how recently training had occurred (P<0.001). The department in which one worked was identified as a determinant of universal precaution practice (P=0.05). Conclusions: Health workers need to be educated regularly on these precautions and discouraged from assuming patients to be of low risk and recapping needles before disposal. Auxiliary nurses who had the lowest levels of knowledge and practice require particular attention in educative programs.

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