Situational Analysis on Infection Control Practices in DOTS Centres in 7 Local Government Areas in Abia State
Background: Tuberculosis remains a major global health problem. The generalized TB epidemic that the country is experiencing is affecting the young economically productive age groups (15-44) and its transmission is enhanced by the absence of a TB infection control plan in the facility.
Objective: To study the infection control practices in Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) centers in 7 local government areas in Abia State.
Materials and Methods: This study was done in the health facilities in 7 local government areas in Abia State Nigeria which included Aba North, Aba South, Bende, Ikwuano, IsialaNgwa North, Osisioma, Umuahia North and Umuahia South. This study is not population-based but facility-based. The health care workers who work in the Directly Observed Treatment Short course Centres were included in the study. In a cross sectional descriptive study, 46 primary health care facilities were selected as units of investigation by means of simple random sampling method. Instruments used for data collection were the infection control checklist (modified with the world Centre for Disease Control and Prevention),a selfadministered and an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data was analysed manually using calculators and tables. A formal permission was obtained from the Department of Community Medicine that enabled us retrieve data for the study.
Results: This study revealed the following: Out of 142 health workers interviewed,124( 89.2%) were aware of the increased risk of exposure to TB infection among them. 107 (89.2%) of them knew of a TB infection control activity in their facility and 96 (81.4%) of them had been trained on TB infection control measures. From this study, 44 (35%) of the workers used surgical masks, only 11 (8.7%) used N95 respirators, 80 (63.5%) used disposal gloves. 103 (81.7%) washed their hands with soaps 63 (50%) washed with alcohol rubs and 85 (89.5%) used a Personal Protective Equipment always (PPE). While 125 (94.7%) of works reported that they had infection control policy, 117 (89.3%) had a specific infection control officer and 112 (84.2%) were trained from time to time.
Conclusion: The findings of this study are consistent with previous studies done in other countries where there is high prevalence of TB infection. This study suggests that there is a strong association between infection control policy with its implementation and the control of turberculosis infection among health care workers.
Recommendation: More health care workers should be employed and regularly trained on the infection control practices. Regular funding should be made by the government and other non-governmental organizations to ensure steady availability of personal protective equipment and compensation of health care workers.