Hand hygiene: knowledge and practice by health care workers in a tertiary health care facility in south east Nigeria

  • C Ndu Anne
  • S.U. Arinze-Onyia
  • E.N. Aguwa


Background: The prevalence of health care associated infections can be reduced by hand hygiene (HH). This study is aimed at determining the knowledge and practice of HH among healthcare workers (HCWs).

Method: descriptive cross-sectional study using semi-structured questionnaire among HCWs selected by cluster sampling was carried out at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu.

Results: Respondents were 629, mostly females (64.4%), married (62.3% and aged between 19 and 59 years. About 63% received training on HH. Average knowledge score was 80.3%. All respondents knew about the following moments of HH: before exiting patient’s care area and after contact with body fluids. However, 45.6% and 54.2% knew that HH was indicated before touching a patient and after removing hand gloves respectively. Only 12.2% of respondents washed hands before patients. All doctors and nurses washed hands before aseptic procedures. Regular access to HH resources were 17.6%, 7%, 5.5%, and 1.7% among medical laboratory scientists (MLS), doctors, nurses, and health attendants respectively.

Conclusion: knowledge of HH was generally high but practice was poor for some moments of HH like before wearing gloves and leaving patients’ care area. Unavailability of HH resources was implicated.

Keywords: Hand hygiene, knowledge, practice, healthcare workers


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613