Background of the study
Standard precautions are the basic infection prevention practices that are applicable to all patient care, irrespective of yet to be confirmed or confirmed infection status of patients, in any health care environment. These practices are aimed at protecting health givers while at the same time help in preventing them from transmitting the infections to their patients. Standard precautions that are essential to health givers include hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gowns, and masks), needle safety, and proper/safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the patient environment including respiratory hygiene (cough etiquette) and proper disposal of sharps, body fluids, and other clinical wastes.
Health care givers face the occupational risk of exposure to infection with both blood-borne and air borne pathogens during the course of their routine work in the wards, intensive care units, during field work when there are cases of disease outbreak like cerebrospinal meningitis, and so forth. Worldwide, almost three million health care givers experience unhealthy exposure to both blood-borne and air borne pathogens annually. Despite infection control precautions and availability of cerebrospinal meningitis vaccine, health care providers remain at risk of contacting these infections. Many exposures can be prevented by careful adherence to existing infection control precautions, immunization against cerebrospinal meningitis, and provision of personal protective equipment during the management of emergencies.
Despite the availability of extensive guidelines, the knowledge and compliance with standard precautions vary among health care givers and have been found to be inadequate in both developed and developing countries .
Though there are reports regarding the compliance with standard precautions among health care givers in various parts of Nigeria, there is a paucity of information about the same among health care givers functioning in the emergency department of the health care settings.
Health care givers are at risk of various occupational hazards in the hospital, including exposure to infections such as cerebrospinal meningitis and hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) infection from sharps injuries and contact with body fluids. Developing countries, which account for the highest prevalence of meningitis outbreak in the world, also record the highest rate of needle-stick injuries. In this context the present study was undertaken to identify the knowledge and standard precaution of health care givers during cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The poor state of the health sector in Nigeria has resulted to lack of adequate care for health care givers or providers as they have been exposed to diverse forms of risk during the cause of the discharge of their duties. This regrettably has left most of the health care providers at a very high risk of being infected. The outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis which has been proven to be deadly has been a reoccurring problem in the health sector as it has always reared its ugly head despite the efforts of government at all levels to eradicate this disease. This has geometrically increased the mortality rate of both children and adults thus negatively affecting human development and by extension the health sector of Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the knowledge and standard precaution of health givers during cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant impact of knowledge and standard precaution on health givers during cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak.
H1: There is a significant impact of knowledge and standard precaution on health givers during cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would greatly benefit health care providers and by extension the health sector in general as it would reveal the impact of adequate knowledge and standard precaution on health givers during disease outbreak. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the knowledge and standard precaution of health care givers during cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak in Nigeria using the Lagos state university teaching hospital(LASUTH) as a case study.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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