Knowledge, attitudes and practices of surgical staff at Khartoum State hospitals towards Hepatitis B infection

Ali Abdel Gadir Khamis, Angom Osman Jacoub, Suleiman Hussein Suleiman, Ahmed Hassan Fahal


Background; Surgical staff is at a constant risk of acquiring blood-borne infection through blood contact
and hepatitis B (HB) is the commonest infection.
Material & Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive questionnaire based study was set to determine the
knowledge, attitudes and practices towards HB in a group of surgeons and surgical staff, in ten hospitals in
Khartoum State.
Results: In general, the knowledge, attitude and practice of the study population towards HB were
satisfactory. Young recent graduates had better knowledge. The prevalence of HB vaccination in the study
population was suboptimal at 67%, although it has improved compared to previous reports. Vaccination
was more prevalent among younger staff. Pre- and post-vaccination screening and boosting were not
common practices in this study. The majority of the study population was unaware of any guidelines or
procedures for HB infection control measurements, surgical and occupational injuries reporting systems
and/or vaccination requirements in their workplaces.
Conclusions: The universal precautions against HB are often ignored in the studied workplace settings
and immunization take up rate was suboptimal. In view of the high risk of HB and other similar infections
among the health-care providers and particularly surgical staff, it is mandatory to establish occupational
health and infection control units at workplaces. These units should establish guidelines and protocols for
HB control and prevention as well as continuing professional development programmes to raise awareness
and create a safe working environment. In addition, free HB vaccine and hyper-immune sera should be
made readily available to protect both patients and staff .


Knowledge; attitudes and; practices of; surgical staff at; Khartoum State; hospitals; towards; Hepatitis B; infection

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