Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-80

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of hand washing among healthcare workers in a tertiary health facility in northwest Nigeria

Community Medicine Department, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Muhammad Bello Garba
Community Medicine Department, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_16_19

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Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) affect 1.7 million patients at any time worldwide, causing important morbidity and mortality. Up to 40% of all HAIs are thought to be transmitted by the hands of healthcare workers (HCWs). Hand washing is the most effective way of preventing the spread of infectious diseases in healthcare settings. This study assessed knowledge and practice hand washing among HCWs in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, a tertiary healthcare center in Zaria, Kaduna State, northwestern Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among 116 HCWs selected using stratified sampling technique. Data were collected using interviewer-administered semistructured questionnaire and observation checklist using Epi Info mobile version (United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), February 2018). Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 23. Results: Respondents of the study were nurses (37.9%), doctors (31.9%), and laboratory (18.1%) and supportive (12.1%) staff. About three-quarter (72.4%) of the HCWs had good knowledge and 62.0% exhibited positive attitude toward hand washing technique, based on the World Health Organization recommendations. Overall, good adherence to proper hand washing was found among 55.2% of the respondents. Respondents’ professional cadre and unit of work, and their level of knowledge and attitude toward proper hand washing practices were shown to be significantly associated with their adherence to the practice (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Individual and institution-level factors were found to influence adherence to proper hand washing practices among the respondents.

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