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Aim: This study assessed the state of infection prevention and control (IPC) with an emphasis on a hospital’s preparedness for mitigating the spread of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) to staff.
Methods: This convergent parallel mixed-methods study obtained data on IPC using an observational checklist in clinical departments and units; key informant interviews of stakeholders; and a structured self-administered questionnaire with frontline health workers. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were conducted to determine the IPC practice and level of preparedness of the hospital for the threat of VHFs.
Results: The frontline clinical staff who responded to the questionnaires were aged 31 – 40 years (53.8%), male (50.3%) and medical doctors (72.2%). Some of the respondents had received training in hand washing (41.5%), use of PPE (35.1%) and standard precaution for VHFs (26.8%). Fewer respondents consistently used gloves (36.8%), face masks (8.6%), aprons (8.5%) and sharps containers (26.7%) during patient care. Amenities available for IPC varied across the 184 clinical service points in the hospital’s 19 departments. More service points had waste bins (86%), washing sinks (80%) and running water (74%) while a few had a standard operating procedure for hand washing (6%) and cabinets for storing PPEs (12%). The most significant challenge to the use of IPC measures was the inadequacy of amenities such as full PPE gear, respirator, aprons, and face masks within the clinical service points.
Conclusion: There is a poor level of preparedness for outbreaks of VHFs and this calls for strengthening administrative, engineering and environmental control in health facilities to stem outbreaks among health.
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