Hand hygiene practices among community Health Officers in Rivers State, Nigeria

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Background: Health care associated infections are most commonly transmitted by the hands of Health care workers and other hospital personnel. Objective: To investigate compliance with hand hygiene guidelines and methods of hand hygiene practice among community health officers in Rivers State Nigeria. Methods: Self administered questionnaires were distributed to 68 community health officers. The questionnaires consisted of 19 items which contained information on bio-demographic characteristics and hand hygiene practices. Data were analysed using SPSS-16 statistical software. Proportions were compared using Chi-square test and 'p' value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The response rate was 97.1%. There were 11 (16.7%) males and 55 (83.3%) females with a male to female ratio of 1: 5. The age of the participants ranged from 28-56 years with a mean age of 39.7±6.7. Washing of hands before and after contact with patient was 60.1% and 97% respectively. The difference was significant (p<0.01). Allergy to gloves was 15.2%. About three-quarter (77.3%) of the workers used soap and water to wash the hands when soiled or visibly contaminated. None of the workers used alcohol hand rub. Conclusion: Though there was improved compliance to hand hygiene guidelines, this still fall short of acceptable standards. The provision and promotion of the proper use of alcohol-based hand rub may further improve compliance with hand hygiene by reducing the time required to perform it and the convenience of the method.




Braimoh, B. O., & Udeabor, S. E. (2013). Hand hygiene practices among community Health Officers in Rivers State, Nigeria. African Health Sciences, 13(2), 507–511. https://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v13i2.43

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