Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding tuberculosis amongst healthcare workers in Moyen-Ogooué Province, Gabon
BMC Infectious Diseases
Background In countries with a high tuberculosis incidence such as Gabon, healthcare workers are at enhanced risk to become infected with tuberculosis due to their occupational exposure. In addition, transmission can occur between patients and visitors, if a tuberculosis infection is not suspected in time. Knowledge about tuberculosis and correct infection control measures are therefore highly relevant in healthcare settings. Methods We conducted an interviewer-administered knowledge, attitude
... nowledge, attitude and practice survey amongst healthcare workers in 20 healthcare facilities at all levels in the Moyen-Ogooué province, Gabon. Correctly answered knowledge questions were scored and then categorised into four knowledge levels. Additionally, factors associated with high knowledge levels were identified. Fisher's Exact test was used to identify factors associated with high knowledge levels. Results A total of 103 questionnaires were completed by various healthcare personnel. The most-frequently scored category was 'intermediate knowledge', which was scored by 40.8% (42/103), followed by 'good knowledge' with 28.2% (29/103) and 'poor knowledge' with 21.4% (22/103) of participating healthcare workers, respectively. 'Excellent knowledge' was achieved by 9.7% (10/103) of the interviewees. Apart from the profession, education level, type of employing healthcare facility, as well as former training on tuberculosis were significantly associated with high knowledge scores. Attitudes were generally positive towards tuberculosis infection control efforts. Of note, healthcare workers reported that infection control measures were not consistently practiced; 72.8% (75/103) of the participants were scared of becoming infected with tuberculosis, and 98.1% saw a need for improvement of local tuberculosis control. Conclusions The survey results lead to the assumption that healthcare workers in the Moyen-Ogooué province are at high risk to become infected with tuberculosis. There is an urgent need for improvement of tuberculosis infection control training for local healthcare personnel, particularly for less trained staff such as assistant nurses. Furthermore, the lack of adequate infection control measures reported by staff could possibly be correlated with a lack of adequate facility structures and protective equipment and requires further investigation.