Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Hand Hygiene among Students and Nurses Staff in Mwanza Tanzania: A Cross-Sectional Hospital-Based Study during Global COVID-19 Pandemic

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Vitus Silago
Monica J. Manzi
Conjester I. Mtemisika
Prisca Damiano
Mariam M. Mirambo
Martha F. Mushi


Background: Hand hygiene (HH) is a critical component of infection prevention and control (IPC) which aims at preventing microbial transmission during patient care hence reducing the burden of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs). Information on the level of HH knowledge, attitudes and practices among healthcare workers (HCWs) from low- and middle-income countries is scarce. This study determined knowledge, attitude and practices of HH among students and staff nurses in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Methods: This cross-sectional hospital-based study was conducted between August and October 2020 among student and staff nurses from 2health centres, 2district hospitals, 1regional referral hospital and 1zonal referral hospital. Self-administered pretested structured questionnaires were used for data collection. All data was transferred to Microsoft excel spreadsheet for cleaning and coding, then to STATA software version 13.0 for analysis.
Results: A total of 726 nurses aged 18 to 59 years with median (IQR) age of 29(24-38) years were enrolled. About 3 quarters 76.4% (555/726) of nurses had good level of knowledge on HH as most of them 88.3% (641/726) had received rigorous IPC trainings during COVID-19 pandemic. About 42.0% (305/726) of the participants reported that, the action of HH was effortless. Majority of the participants, 81.1% (589/726) practiced hand washing more than hand rubbing routinely. Being a student nurse [OR: 0.30, 95%CI: 0.21-1.44, p<.001], working in inpatient department [OR: 0.38, 95%CI: 0.27-0.55, p<.001], high level of education i.e., degree and above [OR: 1.74, 95%CI: 1.36-2.24, p<.001] and having working experience of 5 years and above [OR: 2.41, 95%CI: 1.52-3.82, p<.001] was associated with being knowledgeable of HH.
Conclusion: Majority of the participants had good level of knowledge on HH because they had received rigorous training on IPC, notably HH during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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