Knowledge, attitude and practice of maternity unit staff in Jos Metropolis to universal precautions against HIV
Background: Health care workers in maternity units are exposed to potentially infectious body fluids in the course of their duties. The study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practice of maternity unit staff in Jos Metropolis regarding Universal Precautions (UP) against the background of the high HIV seroprevalence in Plateau state, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study carried out among maternity unit staff in Jos, Nigeria. A pretested, structured, anonymous questionnaire on knowledge, attitude and practice on universal precautions concerning HIV was administered to a sample of 230.
Results: A total of 202 questionnaires were completed and returned giving a response rate was 87.8%, 68.5% of the respondents were female and 31.5% male; 63 of the respondents were physicians while 139 were non physicians. 52 (82.5%) physicians and 113 (81.3%) non physician cadre staff correctly identified UP in the context of labour ward practice to apply to blood, vaginal secretions and liquor. 54 (85.7%) of the physicians and 87 (62.6%) identified that UP involved use of barrier methods. Being a physician conferred knowledge of correct use of barrier methods..
Conclusion: A majority of the respondents demonstrated correct knowledge of practice of UP . There was no significant difference in knowledge between physician and non physician cadre of labour ward staff with regard to correctly identifying the fluids that UPs apply to. Physician cadre of labour ward staff in Jos metropolis was associated with the correct identification of barrier methods that UPs apply to.
Keywords HIV, Universal precautions, Maternity unit staff, Jos.