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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 70-77

Awareness and occupational exposures to needlestick injuries among healthcare workers: A quantitative assessment in a Ghanaian Metropolis


1 Department of Molecular Medicine, School of Medical Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
2 BD Life Sciences, Accra, Ghana
3 Department of Nursing, School of Nursing, Garden City University College, Kenyasi, Ghana
4 Department of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
5 Laboratory Department, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale, Ghana
6 Haematology Department, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Acheampong
Department of Molecular Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JQSH.JQSH_9_19

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Background: This study determined awareness and occupational exposures to needlestick injuries (NSIs) and its associated risk factors among healthcare workers (HCWs) in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among a total of 540 HCWs from three selected tertiary hospitals in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and analyzed. Results: All the study participants were aware of NSI and NSI-associated hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. Most of them (63.6%) were trained on the safety use of sharps devices and the majority of them preferred safety-engineered devices (79.8%). A greater proportion of the participants has had HBV vaccination (85.9%). The prevalence of NSIs was approximately 47%. NSIs were highly ranked to occur at patient’s bedside (28.5%) and clinical laboratories (24.6%). Handling of needles/sharp objects before usage (27.7%) and during usage (34.0%) ranked the second and first cause of NSIs among health workers, respectively. Compared with those with less than 5 years working experience, having worked at the health facility between 5 and 10 years (prevalence rate ration [PRR] = 2.07 [1.39–3.11], p = 0.0004), 11–15 years (PRR = 4.32 [2.14–8.73], p < 0.0001), and >15 years (PRR = 5.73 [2.40–13.70], p < 0.0001) were associated with increased events of NSI. Conclusion: Despite the high awareness of NSIs and its perceived risk of infection acquisition, the prevalence of NSIs was high among HCWs. There is, therefore, the need for employers to enforce the universal precaution practices, provide regular training and education, and ensure adherence of HCWs to safety precaution of needle usage disease.


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