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)

P Lompo, AS Heroes, K Ouedraogo, P Okitale, A Wakpo, J Kalema, O Lunguya, H Tinto, D Affolabi, L Sangare, J Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
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.

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

Results
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).

Conclusions
The present findings can guide tailored training and IPC implementation at the healthcare facility and national levels, and sensitize stakeholders’ and funders’ interest.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Volume13
Issue number1
Number of pages15
ISSN2047-2994
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Antiseptics
  • Awareness
  • Bacteria
  • Contamination
  • Disinfectants
  • Hand hygiene
  • Knowledge
  • Practice

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