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Knowledge, awareness, and risk practices related to bacterial contamination of antiseptics, disinfectants, and hand hygiene products among healthcare workers in sub-saharan Africa: a cross-sectional survey in three tertiary care hospitals (Benin, Burkina Faso, and DR Congo)

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Antiseptics, disinfectants, and hand hygiene products can be contaminated with bacteria and cause healthcare-associated infections, which are underreported from low- and middle-income countries. To better understand the user-related risk factors, we conducted a knowledge, awareness, and practice survey among hospital staff in sub-Saharan Africa.

Self-administered questionnaire distributed among healthcare workers in three tertiary care hospitals (Burkina Faso, Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo).

617 healthcare workers (85.3% (para)medical and 14.7% auxiliary staff) participated. Less than half (45.5%) had been trained in Infection Prevention & Control (IPC), and only 15.7% were trained < 1 year ago. Near two-thirds (64.2%) preferred liquid soap for hand hygiene, versus 33.1% for alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR). Most (58.3%) expressed confidence in the locally available products. Knowledge of product categories, storage conditions and shelf-life was inadequate: eosin was considered as an antiseptic (47.5% of (para)medical staff), the shelf life and storage conditions (non-transparent container) of freshly prepared chlorine 0.5% were known by only 42.6% and 34.8% of participants, respectively. Approximately one-third of participants approved using tap water for preparation of chlorine 0.5% and liquid soap. Most participants (> 80%) disapproved recycling soft-drink bottles as liquid soap containers. Nearly two-thirds (65.0%) declared that bacteria may be resistant to and survive in ABHR, versus 51.0% and 37.4% for povidone iodine and chlorine 0.5%, respectively. Depicted risk practices (n = 4) were ignored by 30 to 40% of participants: they included touching the rim or content of stock containers with compresses or small containers, storing of cotton balls soaked in an antiseptic, and hand-touching the spout of pump dispenser. Filling containers by topping-up was considered good practice by 18.3% of participants. Half (52.1%) of participants acknowledged indefinite reuse of containers. Besides small differences, the findings were similar across the study sites and professional groups. Among IPC-trained staff, proportions recognizing all 4 risk practices were higher compared to non-trained staff (35.9% versus 23.8%, p < 0.0001).

The present findings can guide tailored training and IPC implementation at the healthcare facility and national levels, and sensitize stakeholders’ and funders’ interest.
Tijdschrift: Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
ISSN: 2047-2994
Issue: 1
Volume: 13
Jaar van publicatie:2024
Trefwoorden:Antiseptics, Awareness, Bacteria, Contamination, Disinfectants, Hand hygiene, Knowledge, Practice