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Background: The important role played by Primary Health Care Workers as health care providers make their safety an important health concern. Compliance with infection control guidelines and preventive measures such as Universal Precautions is critical to prevent the transmission of infectious pathogens, but such precautions are not widely used.
Aim: The study assessed the effect of training on the knowledge and practice of universal precautions among Primary Health Care Workers in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A quasi-experimental study was carried out between September 2011 and May 2012 among 172 Primary Health Care Workers in two local government areas selected through a multi staged sampling technique. Preintervention data was collected from both study and control groups. Thereafter, a training intervention was carried out among the study group and after six months post-intervention data was collected in both groups. Data was analyzed using SPSS Statistics 17.0, and statistical significance was determined using t test, Chi-square test and Fishers test with P value set at < 0.05.
Results: Baseline results showed low mean knowledge scores of 3.7±3.3 and 4.6±3.2 (maximum 10) and moderate mean self-reported practice scores of 33.1± 3.8 and 32.9 ± 3.7 (maximum 42) in study and control groups respectively. Observed hand washing practices were low (11.7% and 8.9%) in study and control groups. After the intervention, there were significant improvements in mean knowledge scores (p=0.0001) and mean self-reported practice scores (p=0.001) among respondents in the study group, but no improvement in scores of respondents in control group. Observed practices of Universal Precautions for both study and control groups did not change significantly after the intervention.
Conclusion: The training significantly improved the knowledge and self- reported practice of Universal Precautions among Primary Health Care Workers in the study area.
Keywords: Knowledge and Practice, Universal Precautions, Primary Health Care workers, Nigeria