Knowledge, perception and practice of injection safety and healthcare waste management among teaching hospital staff in south east Nigeria: an intervention study
Introduction: Health care workers are exposed to the risk of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C in their daily encounter with infected patients and materials through unsafe injections. This study determined the baseline and post-intervention knowledge and practice of modern injection safety standards among health care workers.
Methods: The study population was the healthcare workers in a teaching hospital in southeastern Nigeria. Data was collected using a self-administered 37-item structured questionnaire assessing their knowledge and practice on injection safety. Collected data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: Nurses comprised 62.8% (98/156) of the population. While most had heard of injection safety only 67.2% (84/125) had previously had any form of training on it. Only 54% (81/150) had heard or seen color coded bins. The standard needle and syringe is still widely used and 45% (65/145) still recap needles on syringes after use irrespective of type of personnel. Half (50.6% =78/154) of our respondents had had a previous needle prick injury. Only 25.6% (20/78) with previous needle prick injury had postexposure prophylaxis. All doctors and laboratory scientists always use gloves compared to 94.8% (91/96) nurses while handling patients or materials. Following the intervention, a significantly high number became aware of post-exposure prophylaxis and color coded bins and liners.
Conclusion: There is a need for healthcare workers to be regularly updated on changing safety standards in their practice. Also hospitals must be encouraged to acquire and use internationally accepted standard materials in collection and disposal patient's samples.
Key words: Needle prick, post-exposure prophylaxis, colour coding, health workers, teaching hospital, South Eastern Nigeria