Knowledge and application of infectious diseases control measures among Primary Care workers in Nigeria: The Lassa fever example
The objective of this study was to investigate the knowledge and practice of Lassa fever control among primary care health workers. The study was a cross-sectional survey of health workers in 34 primary care centres in Esan West and Esan Central Local Government Areas. The LGAs were selected from Lassa fever-endemic areas in the state and studied with 231 self-administered semi-structured questionnaires. The knowledge of respondents was assessed using a ten-question scoring system. Data was analyzed and presented in tables and figures. All respondents were aware of Lassa fever and 77.9% of them had good knowledge of the control of the disease while 9.1% had poor knowledge. There was no significant association between level of knowledge and designation of the health worker (χ2=8.99, df =4, p>0.05). Only 13.0% and 16.9% of them regularly practiced barrier-nursing and hand washing, respectively, as means of containing the spread of the infection. The level of general knowledge about Lassa fever was high. However, there was poor compliance with standard preventive practices. Therefore, sustained education and re-training of Health workers at the primary care level is required to curtail nosocomial transmission of the disease.
Key words: Lassa fever, health worker, infection, disease control.