Occupational injuries among healthcare workers in Suntreso district hospital in Ashanti region, Ghana

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JUNE, 2019
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Occupational health is defined as the highest degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing of workers in all occupations. Healthcare workers are exposed to various blood pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C virus, HIV and other occupational injuries such as violence from patients and patients relatives, biological and chemical hazards, others experience psychological trauma like fear, anxiety of infection and post exposure of body fluids. The lack of credible data hampers efforts to improve workplace safety especially in developing countries including Ghana, for these reasons occupational injuries are not recognised as public health priority. The main objective was to assess the prevalence rate of the most common occupational injuries and the group of healthcare workers at risk. To examine the awareness and knowledge of occupational health and safety measures. The study was a hospital-based with a cross-sectional design study which used a simple random sampling technique. Quantitative method through a well-structured questionnaire with both opened and closed questions was administered. Participation of respondents was voluntary. The study was conducted within 3month duration. It consisted of 246 respondents which represented about 75% of the HCWS at the facility. Data was entered and analysed by Stata. Binary logistic regression and chi square for categorical variables was done and alpha was set at 0.05. The prevalence rate of occupational injury was 29.7% among the respondents of 12months prior to the study with the commonest injury been cuts from sharps, followed by needle prick injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. , married workers were 62 percent less [AOR = 0.62; 95% CI. = 0.30-3.62] likely to suffer from injury compared to workers who are single. The risk to injury was 3.8 times higher for nurses [AOR = 3.80; 95% CI = 0.87-1.98] compared to laboratory assistants [AOR = 1.98 95% CI. = 0.41-9.40], physicians [AOR = 1.82; 95% CI. = v 0.50-5.62] and nonclinical staff. Also working on shift termed as stressful exposes a worker to injury at 2.23 times [AOR = 2.23; 95% CI. = 1.22-5.23] compared to those who do not. Sociodemographic variables such as age, gender, ethnicity and work experience were statistically insignificant to the occurrence of injury. Occupational injuries especially cuts by sharps, needle pricks and musculoskeletal disorders were the most reported injuries among the HCWs. Adequate training on occupational health and safety is recommended. Stress related factors such as excessive workload, shortage of staff must be improved at the hospital. Medical surveillance policy for all health care workers must be enforced by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to ensure the wellbeing of workers.
A thesis submitted to the Department of population, Family and Reproductive Health, School of Public Health ,College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Public Health in Population and Reproductive Health.
Injuries among healthcare workers, Suntreso District Hospital, Ashanti region