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To better understand hospital infection control practices in Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional evaluation of healthcare worker (HCW) knowledge, attitudes, and practices about hand hygiene and tuberculosis (TB) infection control measures.
An anonymous 76-item questionnaire was administered to HCWs at 2 university hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Knowledge items were scored as correct/incorrect. Attitude and practice items were assessed using a Likert scale.
In total, 261 surveys were completed by physicians (51%) and nurses (49%). Fifty-one percent of respondents were male; mean age was 30 years. While hand hygiene knowledge was fair, self-reported practice was suboptimal. Physicians reported performing hand hygiene 7% and 48% before and after patient contact, respectively. Barriers for performing hand hygiene included lack of hand hygiene agents (77%), sinks (30%), and proper training (50%) as well as irritation and dryness (67%) caused by hand sanitizer made in accordance with the World Health Organization formulation. TB infection control knowledge was excellent (more than 90% correct). Most HCWs felt that they were at high risk for occupational acquisition of TB (71%) and that proper TB infection control can prevent nosocomial transmission (92%). Only 12% of HCWs regularly wore a mask when caring for TB patients. Only 8% of HCWs reported that masks were regularly available, and 76% cited a lack of infrastructure to isolate suspected/known TB patients.
Training HCWs about the importance and proper practice of hand hygiene along with improving hand sanitizer options may improve patient safety. Additionally, enhanced infrastructure is needed to improve TB infection control practices and allay HCW concerns about acquiring TB in the hospital.
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