Assessing the knowledge, attitude and practices of healthcare workers on COVID-19 infection prevention and control at Isoka district hospital, Zambia.

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Namukoko, Gladys
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The University of Zambia
Introduction: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has continued to wreak havoc across the globe. It has spread to literally all the countries and territories around the word, killing millions of people and decimating national economies. Zambia like many countries, is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and has, as of 29th April, 2021, reported a cumulative total of 307,636 cases with 39,933 deaths. Healthcare workers the world over, are at the forefront in the containment of Covid-19, its diagnosis, and management of infected patients and this is the case in Zambia. As a result, they are more exposed and prone to Covid-19 infection and are potential means by which the disease can spread from health facilities to the community. Thus, having the right knowledge and attitude, as well as employing the best practices, towards Covid-19 infection prevention and control, among healthcare workers, is cardinal if the fight is to be won. Objective: This study sought to understand knowledge, attitude and practices of healthcare workers on Covid-19 infection prevention and control at Isoka District Hospital in Zambia. Methodology: The research conductance a mixed method, cross-sectional survey using a structured questionnaire which collected data on demographic information, knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare workers at Isoka District Hospital. The collected data was coded and analysed using SPSS version 20.0. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, Chi-square analysis and the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to understand the characteristic composition of the population, relationship between demographic information and KAP factors and the correlation between KAP variables. Results: Results show that healthcare workers at Isoka District Hospital have adequate Covid-19 IPC knowledge, positive Covid-19 IPC attitudes and good Covid-19 IPC practices. Results also show that demographic factors such as level of education, profession, religion as well as whether a healthcare worker lives with people or not, has a relationship with their knowledge, attitudes or practices. Further results indicate that there is a correlation between knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers. Conclusion: Researches like this research help in assessing the adherence of healthcare workers to Covid-19 IPC measures, especially those in rural areas. Although factors such as myths and misconceptions have continued to impact the knowledge, attitudes and practices of healthcare workers negatively, healthcare workers at Isoka District hospital showed adequate knowledge, positive attitudes and good practices concerning Covid-19 IPC. More and continuous sensitisation and training needs to be done in order to not only equip healthcare workers with knowledge for fighting this pandemic but to also prepare them for any future similar outbreaks.
Thesis of Master of Science in Public Health.