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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 303-307

Preparedness of Nigerian health institutions toward managing lassa fever epidemic and Covid-19 pandemic


1 Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shehu S Umar
Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_71_20

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Objectives: The objective is to assess standard practice of healthcare workers and preparedness of their healthcare institutions toward controlling spread of infectious diseases. Background: With the on - going epidemic of Lassa fever and the rising incidence of Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, there has been efforts from government and stakeholders in health towards controlling the surge of these diseases. This study is a multi-center survey involving frontline health-care workers, from 102 health institutions. Methodology: Pretested self-administered questionnaires were sent through online Google form to health-care workers across various health institutions through their respective social media platforms. Their consent was sought and the questionnaires were filled through registered emails. Multiple entry from same individual was prevented. The number of respondents was 451. The information gathered include biodata of health-care workers, details of their cadre and years of practice, their level of standard precautions and preparedness of their health institutions. Data gathered were collated, summarized, and analyzed using simple tables with proportions. Results: The practice of standard precaution was inadequate with only 59.4% of respondents washing their hands regularly after touching patients or carrying out procedures, while only 34.4% of them used face masks while consulting patients with respiratory symptoms. As for preparedness of health institutions in control of Lassa fever and Covid-19, 63.1% and 77.6% of respondents affirmed that their health institutions had written protocol of managing infectious diseases and had organized workshop on Lassa fever and/or Covid-19, respectively, while only 45.5% and 20% of respondents had dedicated isolation wards and functional intensive care units in their health institutions. Conclusion: The standard safety precautions by health-care workers were suboptimal and preparedness of their health institutions was generally inadequate for the management and control of infectious diseases.


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