Conference abstract

Increased prevalence of COPD associated with occupational exposures and sub-optimal occupational health services among workers in a cement factory, Nigeria, 2015

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(37).28 Dec 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.37.619

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Keywords: Prevalence, COPD, cement factory, Nigeria
Opening ceremony

Increased prevalence of COPD associated with occupational exposures and sub-optimal occupational health services among workers in a cement factory, Nigeria, 2015

Uche Ifeoma Katchy1, Emmanuel Aguwa2, Seye Babatunde3, Paulinus Ossai4, Phillips Ricks5, Patrick Nguku1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Department of Occupational Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria, 3Department of Community Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, 4Department of Public Health, Enugu State Ministry of Health, Nigeria, 5Department of Global Health, Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training, US CDC, Atlanta, Unites states

&Corresponding author
Uche Ifeoma Katchy, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract

Introduction: globally, 90% of occupational disease are under-diagnosed and only 15% of workers access occupational health services (OHS). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death world-wide and 15% is linked to occupational exposure. Cement factory workers are at risk of developing COPD and require optimal OHS but prevalence is unknown in Nigeria. We determined the prevalence of COPD and assessed OHS in a cement factory in Nigeria.

Methods: we conducted a comparative cross-sectional study. Operations workers exposed to cement dust and administrative unexposed were recruited. We used stratified sampling to select non-smokers with five years’ minimum work duration from both groups. We conducted a walk-through survey to assess OHS. Standard questionnaire was used to determine occupational history, respiratory symptoms and personal protective equipment (PPE) use. We defined COPD using the highest of three spirometer readings as FEV1/FVC ratio ≤ 0.7 with respiratory symptoms. Univariate and bivariate analysis were determined.

Results: of the 200 selected workers, 100 were from operations. The mean age and work duration were 35 ± 10.2 and 18 ± 6.6 years. The overall prevalence of COPD was 22% with higher values 36 (36%) in exposed compared to 18 (18%) in unexposed (p < 0.05). Only 20% of workers had ever had spirometry test. Cough was the most reported symptom 60/200 (30%) and the risk was twice higher among non-users of face mask than users (OR 2.3, 95% C.I = 1.3 - 1.5). About 80% of workers reported poor fitting as limitation to PPE use. Walk-through showed visible dust from inefficient dust control machine in operations which was more than 5km away from administrative department.

Conclusion: the higher prevalence of COPD in operations workers than administrative justifies optimal OHS such as efficient dust control measures and provision of appropriate PPE. Referral of workers with COPD for expert management and modification of job tasks were public health actions instituted.