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Safety Awareness in Selected X-ray Diagnostic Centres in Surulere and Ikeja Local Government Areas of Lagos State, Nigeria.
Background: Health hazards are associated with exposure to ionizing radiations such as x-rays. Many private x-ray diagnostic clinics in Lagos State operate with inadequate safety and protection devices, which make the conditions unsafe to patient and environment.
Objective: To assess the working conditions, protection measures put in place, safety awareness and attitudes of both employees and employers to safety and protection in radiodiagnostic centers in Surulere and Ikeja Local Government Areas.
Methodology: Questionnaires were used for collecting information on socio-demographic data, occupational history, activities, working conditions, knowledge and experience of radiation hazards in x-ray centers. Interviews were conducted with Heads of Departments and Radiologists using the checklist adapted from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Results: 88.9% of the participating centers had adequate space and some safety assessment performed prior to installation of the facility. 81.5% had few basic protection devices. Only 40.7% employed adequate and qualified staff while 25.9% provided personnel training and 22.2% had quality control programme. 14.8% had radiation protection programme. 60.2% of respondents were aware of health hazards associated with radiation exposures, 57.8% of which were males.
Conclusion: Operation conditions in most private diagnostic centers are below standard due to grossly inadequate provision of safety and protection devices. Employment of qualified staff and continuous education need be emphasized and enforced.
Keywords: x-ray exposure; radiation hazards; Safety awareness
Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Science Vol. 6 (1) 2007: pp. 62-72