Ghana Medical Journal

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Knowledge, attitude and practice universal basic precautions by medical personnel in a Teaching Hospital

AAJ Hesse, NA Adu-Aryee, K Entsua-Mensah, L Wu


Background: Universal Basic Precautions (UBP) are not well understood nor implemented by health professionals, though crucial in HIV/AIDS preven-tion. As defined by Garner, UBP refers to “the prevention of transmission of blood borne patho-gens like HIV through strict respect by health workers of rules concerning care and nursing”

Objectives: To find out knowledge and attitudes of medical personnel doctors in the Department of Surgery of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to HIV transmission and to find out their current practices of UBP in surgery.

Methods: The study was carried out using a struc-tured questionnaire which was self administered to fifty medical personnel after preliminary introduc-tion at a plenary session.

Results: Results showed that alleged knowledge did not match actual tested knowledge (92% verses 71%). Knowledge of all the forms of HIV transmission was rather limited among medical personnel. Practice of UBP was also not universal as 44% preferred to rely on pre-op HIV testing of patients and knowledge of their status whilst 36% of respondents admitted reluctance to perform an invasive procedure on an HIV positive patient.

Conclusion: This study shows the need for the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and its institutions to develop and implement specific policies on the practice of UBP, training of health care providers and ensuring the consistent supply of protective materials.

Keywords: universal basic precautions, HIV, knowledge, prevention and attitudes of doctors

Ghana Medical Journal Vol. 40(2) 2006: 61-64
AJOL African Journals Online