Health care workers indicate ill preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Ashanti Region of Ghana

Background: The recent Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic that hit some countries in West Africa underscores the need to train front line high-risk health workers on disease prevention skills. Although Ghana did not record (and is yet to) any case, and several health workers have received numerous training schemes, there is no record of any study that assessed preparedness of healthcare workers (HCWS) regarding EVD and any emergency prone disease in Ghana. We therefore conducted a hospital based cross sectional study involving 101 HCWs from two facilities in Kumasi, Ghana to assess the level of preparedness of HCWs to respond to any possible EVD. Methods: We administered a face-to-face questionnaire using an adapted WHO (2015) and CDC (2014) Checklist for Ebola Preparedness and assessed overall knowledge gaps, and preparedness of the Ghanaian HCWs in selected health facilities of the Ashanti Region of Ghana from October to December 2015. Results: A total 92 (91.09%) HCWs indicated they were not adequately trained to handle an EVD suspected case. Only 25.74% (n = 26) considered their facilities sufficiently equipped to handle and manage EVD patients. When asked which disinfectant to use after attending to and caring for a suspected patient with EVD, only 8.91% (n = 9) could correctly identify the right disinfectant (χ 2 = 28.52, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Our study demonstrates poor knowledge and ill preparedness and unwillingness of many HCWs to attend to EVD. Beyond knowledge acquisition, there is the need for more training from time to time to fully prepare HCWs to handle any possible EVD case.
This article is published by BioMed Central.
Annan et al. BMC Public Health (2017) 17:546 DOI 10.1186/s12889-017-4474-6