Conference abstract

Knowledge, attitude and practice of health care workers on Lassa fever in Taraba State, Nigeria, January 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(40).01 Apr 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.40.622
Archived on: 01 Apr 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Lassa fever, health care workers, Taraba State, outbreak
Opening ceremony

Knowledge, attitude and practice of health care workers on Lassa fever in Taraba State, Nigeria, January 2017

Chinenye Nkem Nwaekpe1,&, Saleh Mansur1, Amarachi Nwankiti1, Yashe Usman2, Bio Abaye1, Robinson Nnaji1, Celestine Ameh1, Ken Onyedibe3, Adebola Olayinka1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria, 3Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Chinenye Nkem Nwaekpe, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria


Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic febrile illness. The disease is endemic in Nigeria and parts of West Africa. Outbreaks have been recorded among healthcare workers predicated on a dearth of knowledge and infection prevention practice. We explored the knowledge, attitude and practices of healthcare workers (HCW) on LF during an outbreak in November 2016 in Taraba State.

Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted among HCW in eight public health facilities in the seven affected LGAs using a semi structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practice. Recruitment of HCWs was purposively done from those available. A standard checklist was used to collect data on practices and infection prevention and control (IPC) methods. Knowledge and attitude were scored using the Likert scale: poor (0-4), satisfactory (5-7) and good (8-10). HCWs that answered 5 of 9 questions on practice were considered as having good practice. Frequencies and relative frequencies, means and standard deviation were calculated using Epi info version 7.

Results: of 125 respondents, 103 (82.4%) had good knowledge, 13 (10.4%) and 9 (7.2%) had satisfactory and poor knowledge respectively. In terms of attitude, 31 (24.8%), 25 (20%) and 69 (55.2%) had good, satisfactory and poor attitudes respectively. For specific knowledge and practice, 23 (18.9%) knew that a suspected case should be isolated, notified and referred; 47 (40%) knew Ribavirin as drug of choice, 63 (50.4%) used hand gloves and 12 (9.6%) used face mask. Three health facilities (37.5%) had at least hand gloves, apron, face mask and boots for IPC.

Conclusion: knowledge of HCWs on LF was good. However, their attitude and practice on IPC for LF were poor. We did a sensitization and awareness campaign for the HCWs on IPC. We also made an advocacy for training on IPC for HCWs to the State Ministry of Health.