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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 150-154

An assessment of hand hygiene practices of healthcare workers of a semi-urban teaching hospital using the five moments of hand hygiene

1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan Remo, Nigeria
3 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Olushola Shobowale
Department of Medical Microbiology, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.184058

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Background: Hand hygiene has been described as the cornerstone and starting point in all infection control programs, with the hands of healthcare staff being the drivers and promoters of infection in critically ill patients. The objectives of this study were to access healthcare workers compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed five moments of hand hygiene as it relates to patient care and to determine the various strata of healthcare workers who are in default of such prescribed practices. Methods: The study was an observational, cross-sectional one. Hand hygiene compliance was monitored using the hand hygiene observation tool developed by the WHO. A nonidentified observer was used for monitoring compliance with hand hygiene. The observational period was over a 60-day period from August 2015 to October 2015. Results: One hundred and seventy-six observations were recorded from healthcare personnel. The highest number of observations were seen in surgery, n = 40. The following were found to be in noncompliance before patient contact - anesthetist P = 0.00 and the Intensive Care Unit P = 0.00 while compliance was seen with senior nurses (certified registered nurse anesthetist [CRNA]) P = 0.04. Concerning hand hygiene after the removal of gloves, the following were areas of noncompliance - the emergency room P = 0.00, CRNA P = 0.00, dental P = 0.04, and compliance was seen with surgery P = 0.01. With regards to compliance after touching the patient, areas of noncompliance were the anesthetists P = 0.00, as opposed to CRNA P = 0.00, dental P = 0.00, and Medicine Department P = 0.02 that were compliant. Overall, the rates of compliance to hand hygiene were low. Discussion: The findings however from our study show that the rates of compliance in our local center are still low. The reasons for this could include lack of an educational program on hand hygiene; unfortunately, healthcare workers in developing settings such as ours regard such programs as being mundane. Conclusion: The observance of hand hygiene is still low in our local environment. Handwashing practices in our study show that healthcare workers pay attention to hand hygiene when it appears there is a direct observable threat to their wellbeing. Educational programs need to be developed to address the issue of poor hand hygiene.

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