Article abstract


Introduction: accidental exposure to blood and body fluid presents a serious public health concern, especially among healthcare workers (HCW) and constitutes a risk of transmission of blood borne viruses. Infections acquired through occupational exposure are largely preventable through strict control measures such as the use of safe devices, proper waste disposal, immunization and prompt management of exposures including the use of Post Exposure Prophylaxis. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of healthcare workers on post exposure prophylaxis and also determine the factors influencing reporting of occupational exposures among HCW in Fako Division, Cameroon.

 

Methods: this was a hospital based cross-sectional study conducted from February 2016 to July 2016 involving the administration of questionnaires to 216 health care workers in Fako division. Data collected was analyzed with SPSS version 22 and results presented as percentages and tables. Pearson chi-square test was used to determine statistically significant relationship between different factors with reporting of occupational exposures among health care workers in Fako division.

 

Results: a high proportion of participants 125(58%) had poor knowledge on Post Exposure Prophylaxis and 131(60.6%) of participants proved to have a positive attitude towards post exposure prophylaxis. 50.9% (110/216) of all participants had at least one occupational exposure with a low uptake 19.1(21/110) of Post Exposure Prophylaxis recorded among participants who were exposed. There was a statistically significant relationship between years of experience (p-value = 0.006, CI= 0.151-0.745) and category of health care worker (p-value= 0.022, CI=0.314-14.215) with reporting of occupational exposure (p-value< 0.05).

 

Conclusion: this study recorded among participants a poor knowledge on post exposure prophylaxis and poor practice though a majority of study participants had possitive attitude towards PEP. Therefore, a formal training for all health care workers on post exposure prophylaxis to blood borne viruses, strict monitoring and evaluation of health care worker's adherence to standard precautions, adequate reporting of exposures and uptake of post exposure prophylaxis is recommended.