Awareness And Practices Of Safety Measures Against Covid 19 Among Health Workers In FMC Umuahia Abia State
This study was carried out to assess the awareness and practices of safety measures against COVID 19 among health workers in FMC Umuahia Abia State. The data obtained from the participants were descriptively summarized with the use of frequency, percentages and tables. From the findings of the study, results showed a moderate level of awareness of safety measures and severity of COVID- 19 among the respondents. Findings of current survey demonstrated that majority of the respondents have good awareness and good practice of safety measures towards COVID-19. Also, findings demonstrated a positive perception of Health workers towards COVID-19 with majority of the respondents believing that the disease existed. Although most health workers were implementing an adequate range of infection control and prevention strategies, a majority was unaware of the efficacy and correct infection control guidelines for their particular business setting. Certain gaps in infection control around COVID-19 were identified and highlighted for improvement; and it is hoped that the future corrective action strategies can help health workers uphold public health roles and minimize the community spread of COVID-19. It was recommended that additional education intervention and campaigns be carried out for Health workers especially those in rural communities and metropolitan areas to avail them with the awareness of the risk of personal and family infection with COVID-19 and importance of adopting the safety measures
Table Of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- 1.1 Background To The Study
- 1.2 Statement Of Problem
- 1.3 Research Objectives
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Significance Of The Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.2 The Health Sector Amid Covid
- 2.3 Safety Measures Against Covid 19
- 2.4 Theoretical Review
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Research Setting And Population
- 3.3 Sample And Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Instruments For Data Collection
- 3.5 Method Of Data Analysis
4.0 Result And Discussion
- 4.1 Results
- 4.2 Discussion Of Findings
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendations
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendations
1.1 Background Of The Study
In early December, the first case of pneumonia of unknown cause originated in Wuhan, capital city of Province Hubei, China, and on 31 December 2019, with emergence of more such cases, Wuhan gained attention by World Health Organization (WHO) (Huang, Wang, Li, Ren, Zhao & Hu, 2020). The pathogen identified was named as novel corona-virus (2019-nCoV), currently called as severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), an enveloped and single stranded RNA virus which has phylogenetic resemblance to SARS-COV-1 (Lu, Zhao, Li, Niu, Yang & Wu, 2020). Owing to rapid spread of this deadly virus from epicenter to number of countries, WHO declared it as public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020. Later, due to uncased fast spread, severity of illness, the continual escalation in number of affected countries, cases and causalities, WHO declared corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 (WHO, 2020). As of 2020, statistics showed that COVID-19 has spread to 210 countries and territories accounted for 1,790,550 laboratory confirmed cases and 109,654 mortalities also attributed to this deadly pathogen (Worldometer, 2020).
In much of Africa, but also in the most developed parts of the world, much about the corona virus pandemic is unclear, including the knock-on health complications it may cause, how far it has actually spread, and whether antibodies can deliver long-lasting immunity. This reflects insufficient or contradictory data and statistical shortcomings. The figures cited that measure the extent of COVID-19 in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa generally indicate a low level of spread. But this is at least partly driven by low levels of testing. Nigeria, with about 200 million people, had conducted just fewer than 12,000 tests as of April 26. Botswana, with a population around 1 percent that of Nigeria, had conducted over 5,000 tests as of April 23, and South Africa, a quarter of Nigeria’s population, had conducted around 185,000 as of April 28; but both are notable exceptions (WHO, 2020). As of April 29, Nigeria has recorded over 1,300 cases, with 40 deaths attributed to COVID-19. Nigeria’s corona-virus spread had initially been concentrated in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun state, the latter effectively a suburb of Lagos.
Healthcare professionals (HCPs) of all levels and kinds are primarily involved in caring patients of this highly transmittable pathogen. COVID-19 has posed serious occupational health risk to the HCP owing to their frequent exposure to infected individuals (Gan, Lim & David, 2020). Protection of HCPs and prevention of intra-hospital transmission of infection are important aspects in epidemic response and this requires that HCPs must have updated awareness regarding source, transmission, symptoms and preventive measures (Nemati, Ebrahimi & Nemati, 2020). Literature suggests that lack of awareness and misunderstandings among HCPs leads to delayed diagnosis, spread of disease and poor infection control practice (Omrani&Shalhoub, 2015). Several thousand healthcare workers have already been infected, mainly in China and all over the world (Gan, Lim & David, 2020), therefore preventing intra-hospital transmission of the communicable disease is a priority.
The COVID-19 pandemic is placing extraordinary and sustained demands on health systems and providers of essential community services (Emanuel, Persad, Upshur, Thome, Parker, Glickman, & Phillips, 2020). The media focus on the number of cases, intensive care unit capacity and ventilator numbers reflect the national single-issue public health response warranted by the corona-virus threat. However, pre-existing community care needs persist and medical and pharmacy practitioners have had to adapt and adopt professional role changes amidst a dynamic healthcare system architecture, all on top of already scarce resources. Health workers have been designated an essential service and must, where possible; remain open during the pandemic to provide for the pharmaceutical care needs of the community. Their practice has had to adapt significantly, but the pandemic has also focused attention on the case for long-awaited professional role evolution. The rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic situation initially outpaced the public and regulatory guidance response. In tandem with the much-publicized early stockpiling of household provisions, prescription renewal requests were surging early in the crisis. The other immediate challenge for Health workers was protecting their staff and patients from the spread of infection within the pharmacy. Pharmacies adapted their premises to try and achieve ‘social-distancing’, installing perspex barriers or doorway booths, restricting patient numbers for access and implementing delivery services (Emanuel et al., 2020).
Awareness of infection pathways and relevant precautions to take is needed to control the pandemic especially in the advent of the second wave of the novel Corona virus (Bhagat, Yadav, Shah, Dave, Swaraj, Tripathi, & Singh, 2020). While the scientific community continues to research further possible cures, vaccines and drugs for the viral infection have been made available though not entirely accepted worldwide; amidst all these strides, it is expected that adequate awareness will motivate individuals (Health workers inclusive) to make decisions which may prevent and curb the epidemic via the uses of safety measures. Awareness such as regular hand washing, using hand sanitizers, wearing face masks, respiratory etiquettes, social distancing and self-isolation when sick are vital to reducing widespread infection (Leppin&Aro, 2019). Studies (e.g. Brug, Aro, Oe-nema, de Zwart, Richardus& Bishop, 2004; Choi & Yang, 2010; Hussain, Hussain & Hussain 2012) revealed that individuals’ level of awareness about an infectious disease can make them behave in ways that may prevent infection. Consequently, individuals may need to be informed about the potential risks of infections in order to adopt the right precautionary measures (Brug, Aro&Richardus, 2019). Awareness, attitude, and practice survey provides a suitable format to evaluate existing programs and to identify effective strategies for behavior change in society.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
Amidst the current pandemic, WHO has issued several guidelines and also started online courses and training sessions to raise awareness and preparedness regarding prevention and control of COVID-19 among health care practitioners (WHO, 2020). In addition to WHO, National agencies also published several recommendations for health care practitioners aimed at reducing occupational spread of infection among them (Waris, Khan, Ali &Baset, 2020). Although educational campaigns have increased their awareness regarding COVID-19 yet it remains unclear to what extent this awareness can be put into practice and to what extent this practice of precautionary measures like social distancing actually reduces COVID-19 infection spread.
While millions of people are in their homes in order to decrease the risk of transmission of the infection, health workers are on the frontline against COVID-19 (CDC, 2020). These professionals are committed to ensuring that the population has access to health services and to minimize the adverse impact of the pandemic. Given the seriousness of the corona-virus outbreaks, health professionals with expertise in public health are essential. As healthcare professionals, health workers can play key role during the pandemic, acting directly with the community, continuing to care for patients with chronic diseases, working in hospital pharmacies and providing pharmaceutical care to COVID-19 patients (Song, Hu, Zheng, Yang, & Zhao, 2020). Moreover, they may provide reliable information for preventing, detecting, treating and managing coronavirus infections (Khan, Muhammad, Ahmed, & Rahman, 2020). As a result, several challenges have emerged and innovative strategies are being adopted by health workers to overcome them. Since the beginning of the outbreak, many guidelines have been published with recommendations for health workers as well as their responsibilities during the pandemic. However, few describe health workers’ experiences in this novel context.
1.3 Research Objectives
The main aim of this study is to assess the awareness and practices of safety measures against Covid 19 among health workers in FMC Umuahia Abia State.Specifically, the following objectives will guide the study;
- To determine the level of awareness of safety measures against COVID-19 among Health workers in FMC Umuahia
- To identify the safety compliance level to the use of safety measures adopted by Health workers against COVID-19 in FMC Umuahia
- To identify the barriers to the safety compliance level against COVID-19 among Health workers in FMC Umuahia
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated to guide the study based on the research objectives;
- What is the level of awareness of safety measures against COVID-19 among Health workers in FMC Umuahia?
- What is the safety compliance level to the use of safety measures adopted by Health workers against COVID-19 in FMC Umuahia?
- What are the barriers to the safety compliance level against COVID-19among Health workers in FMC Umuahia?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The occurrence of the novel corona virus (COVID-19) has caused lots of measures to be out in place, especially for the health workers and related professionals, hence the need to assess their awareness and practices. This study will be of great significance to the Health workers, the healthcare profession and the society. The findings from this study will benefit the Health workers by providing this information needed to improve and enhance quality care for themselves in light of the novel corona virus as well as improve their attitudes towards safety measures and other precautionary measures against COVID-19. Also, this study will be useful in identifying barriers affecting the practice and perception of safety measures against COVID 19 among the health workers. This will also enlighten the educators, health professionals, counselors and work practice employers on how to further improve the attitude. Lastly, the study will also contribute to the existing literature on COVID 19 and serve as an empirical literature for future studies.
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendations
During times of crisis, health workers are required to adapt to and respond with new ideas to safeguard the profession and their community. Health workers are given a huge responsibility of accurately informing their local community about ways to reduce community spread of the COVID-19. From the findings of the study, results showed a moderate level of awareness of protective measures and severity of COVID- 19 among the respondents. Findings of current survey demonstrated that majority of the respondents have good awareness and good adoption of safety measures towards COVID-19. This study serves to illustrate the range of safety measures undertaken by Health workers against COVID-19. These measures are currently implemented to varying extents across pharmacy settings; and show health workers commitments and response to protect their staff and the local community. Although most pharmacies were implementing an adequate range of infection control and prevention strategies, a majority was unaware of the efficacy and correct infection control guidelines for their particular business setting. Certain gaps in infection control around COVID-19 were identified and highlighted for improvement; and it is hoped that the future corrective action strategies can help health workers uphold public health roles and minimize the community spread of COVID-19. The study recommends the ministry of health authorities to promote all precautionary and preventive measures of COVID-19 including social distance with a comprehensive training program consisting better structured targeting all health professionals in order to have equilibrium clinical awareness about COVID-19.
The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study;
- Additional education intervention and campaigns are required for Health workers especially those in rural communities and metropolitan areas to avail them with the awareness of the risk of personal and family infection with COVID-19 and importance of adopting the safety measures.
- The ministry of health and health authorities should encourage all precautionary and preventive measures of COVID-19 with a comprehensive training program consisting better structured targeting all health professionals.
- All health stake holders should intensify their effort in sensitizing the general public to understand and comply with all precautionary measures to curb COVID-19 including hand washing, hand sanitizing, wearing of masks, social distancing etc.
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