Reported incidences and factors associated with percutaneous injuries and splash exposures among healthcare workers in Kahama District, Tanzania
Methods : This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in Kahama District of north-western Tanzania and involved randomly selected healthcare workers. Structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data between July and October 2015.
Results: A total of 277 HCWs participated in the study. Among them 146 (53%) were nurses, 138 (14%) auxiliary staff 36 (13%), 32 (12%) laboratory personnel and 25 (9%) were doctors. The mean age was 37.4 years. Seventy-one percent of the participants had more than 10 years’ of working experience. About 59% of participants reported incidences of percutaneous injuries and mucocutaneous blood and other fluids exposures. About 90% of participants agreed to experience the incidences several times. While 60% disagreed with availability of personal protective gears, non-reporting of the cases was noted by 26% of participants. Majority (81%) disagreed with existence of infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines and protocols. The main human factors associated with the percutaneous injuries and splash exposures included HCWs experience at work (71%), long working hours (29%), type of workplace (48%) and inadequate use of IPC guidelines and protocols (48%).
Conclusion: More than half of participants reported incidents of percutaneous injuries and mucocutaneous blood and other body fluids in Kahama District of Tanzania. Adherence to universal precautions, training and reduction of long working hours are necessary in order to reduce infections from percutaneous injuries and exposures.