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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 306-312

Emergency preparedness for management of suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever among healthcare workers in a tertiary referral center

1 Paediatrics Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Chemical Pathology Department, NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria
3 Medical microbiology Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
4 Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria
5 Surgery Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
6 Family Medicine Department, NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria
7 Radiology Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
8 Community Medicine Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chinyere U Onubogu
Paediatrics Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_14_22

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Background: Effective viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) control demand adequate emergency preparedness among healthcare workers (HCWs). Objective: This study assessed the emergency preparedness for VHF control among HCWs at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra state, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 345 HCW at the NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria. Data was analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS, IBM, Chicago IL, USA) software version 21. Chi square and student’s t-test were used to test associations between categorical and continuous variables, respectively. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Their mean age and length of service were 33.9 ± 8.88 and 6.6 ± 7.08 years, respectively. Two-third were doctors, nurses and lab scientists. A major proportion of the HCWs were aware of VHF (88.4%), and knew it could be acquired at workplace (83.8%) and at least 2 correct features (74.2%) or one preventive measure (79.1%). Only 53.0% and 47.2% knew that the hospital had a VHF control policy and standard operating procedure (SOP), respectively. Different category of HCWs varied significantly in awareness of VHF; and knowledge about the risk of acquiring it at workplace, features or preventive measures, and VHF control policy or SOP. Doctors, nurses and lab scientists performed better than other HCWs in VHF knowledge. Previous training on VHF or encounter with suspected case was highest among the doctors (P < 0.001) while adequate supply (P < 0.001) or regular use (P = 0.008) of PPE was highest among lab scientists. Suspected VHF case was encountered by 21.2% of the HCWs out of which 26% (19/73) notified relevant unit. Only 29.3% of the HCWs agreed that VHF control was adequate in their unit. Commonest reasons cited for disagreeing were lack of training (79.2%), standard precaution materials (63.6%), SOPs (59.7%) and inadequate support by hospital management (58.4%). Conclusion: Emergency preparedness for VHF control was poor among studied HCWs. Innovative surveillance/notification system, and best practices for infection control should be enforced. HCWs should be adequately trained on VHF control.

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