Healthcare Workers’ Preparedness to tackle COVID-19: A Study on Knowledge and Compliance with Standard Precautions in a Tertiary Hospital in Southern Nigeria
Background: Hospitals may serve as amplifiers of infectious disease rates during outbreak situations. The strict implementation of and compliance with standard precautions (SPs) is the primary strategy for preventing healthcare-associated infections. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and level of compliance with SPs in a tertiary hospital as a measure of preparedness to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among healthcare workers selected using stratified sampling technique in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was collected using an adapted, self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 25.0. Knowledge and compliance with SPs were assessed using six domains each. Statistical measures for analysis were the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The level of significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: A total of 524 respondents with mean age 38.1 ± 9.7 years participated in this study. Majority, 432 (84.2%) were female and 467 (89.1%) were clinical staff. Overall, knowledge and compliance of SPs were good in 457 (87.2%) and 293 (60.0%) respondents, respectively. Clinical health workers were 2.5 (95% CI: 1.3 – 5.1) times more likely to have good knowledge while respondents with poor knowledge were 0.5 (95% CI: 0.3 – 0.9) times
less likely to have good compliance with SPs.
Conclusion: Knowledge of SPs in the studied population was high and compliance was good. Continued education and behavioural change communication are needed to improve compliance especially in the face of a pandemic.