Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) remains an occupational health risk among healthcare personnel (HCP) globally, with the risk of transmission present throughout healthcare settings. The presence of undiagnosed and untreated highly infectious patients pose a great risk to the HCP who are often the forefront healthcare providers of any epidemic. Genotypic analysis of infected HCP revealed similar strains to the ones identified from the patient profile of their facilities, suggestive of nosocomial transmission.
Aim: The aim of the study was to determine healthcare personnel’s knowledge and practices regarding protective wear on TB prevention in Gauteng province.
Research design and methods: A quantitative approach was used for this study. The sample was a cohort of healthcare professionals from a selected regional hospital located in Gauteng province of South Africa. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Pretoria and the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire which was distributed to the different categories of HCP at the selected facility. Data analysis included presentation of descriptive summary statistics, frequencies, proportions and scores with associated 95% confidence intervals by various characteristics of respondents (age, educational level, and work experience). All tests were carried at the probability of 5% to be considered significant.
Results: Knowledge of infection control policies was not significantly associated with practice. However, knowledge was significantly associated with level of education. HCP with higher levels of education demonstrated good knowledge but poor practice.
Critical knowledge gaps and poor practice were identified and should be addressed. Poor adherence to infection control measures were also revealed through the results of this study.
Conclusion and recommendations: Good knowledge of infection prevention and control policies did not result in good practice. Older HCP with lower qualifications scored higher on good practices. Knowledge and adherence to infection control policies require good infrastructure and training. The results illustrated that there was a lack of in-service training and poor infrastructure at the facility.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2019.