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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-65

Assessment of the level of knowledge and universal cross-infection control practices against lassa fever among health workers in Sokoto, Nigeria: A hospital survey during lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria

1 Department of Pharmacy, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Catherine Fidelis
Department of Pharmacy, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAMR.IJAMR_11_18

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Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is an endemic West African viral hemorrhagic fever which presents acutely and is often fatal. This study assessed the level of knowledge about LF among the health workers in Sokoto State and also examined their cross-infection control practices against LF during ongoing outbreaks in health facilities in Nigeria. Methods: Data obtained from a total of 298 health workers in five hospitals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria, were used for this study. The study tool was a 25-item questionnaire. Data obtained were analyzed using the SPSS version 20 Software. Results: Three-tenth of the participants were within the age bracket of 26–30 years. About 54% were men, 54.4% were nursing officers, and 75.2% of the participants had practice ≤10 years. All of the surveyed medical doctors and dentists were aware of the ongoing LF outbreak in Nigeria. All of the dentists and medical laboratory scientists surveyed accurately identified the virus as the cause of LF. Only the dentists accurately identified Mastomys natalensis rodents as the vector for LF, and its transmission from person-person. Less than 20% of the participants in each occupational category did not know the universal precaution measures against infections, and about 12% of the respondents wore their personal protective equipment outside the surroundings of their duty posts. It was observed that more than 50% of the participants were below 60% on a scale of 1%–100% regarding their cross-infection and control practices. Conclusion: The findings obtained from this study revealed a very low level of knowledge about LF and very poor universal cross-infection control practices against LF among the health workers in Sokoto City, Nigeria.

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