THE KNOWLEDGE ON LASSA FEVER MANAGEMENT AMONG HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN MARYLAND COUNTY, LIBERIA
Neonora, Ade Payne-Barclay
Obey, Jackie K
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This research study examined the Knowledge on Lassa fever Management among Healthcare Workers in Maryland County, Liberia.. This virus is transmitted by the rodent of the genus Mastomys natalensis commonly known as the “multi-mammate rat.” The Mastomys rats are the carrier of the virus which is active in their urine and feces. The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the virus family Muridae. Two hundred and ninety-nine healthcare workers between 22 and 52 years participated in a quantitative research using the cross-sectional study design. Participants were selected randomly after stratification. Data was collected using structured questionnaires and analyzed o STATA for windows, version 16. Analysis included descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages). The study used the logistic regression since the response variable, health care practices was categorical. This allowed us to classify respondents as practicing poor or good health care practices. The developed logistic model was found to be statistically significant, (𝟔) = 𝟐𝟒.𝟖𝟖, = 𝟎.𝟎𝟎𝟎𝟒 meaning that at least one of the predictor variables included in the model affected the health care practice outcome. The study found statistically significant predictors were health care worker cadre, z = -2.45, p = .014, OR = .62 95% CI (.43, .91) and experience z = 3.68, p = .000, OR = 2.32 95% CI (1.48, 3.63). The odds ratio health care cadre shows that higher cadre is associated with poor health care practices. In particular, an increase in cadre by one level lowers the odds of falling in the good practice category by a factor of 0.62. There was a statistically significant association between health care practices on Lassa fever management and the variables cadre, p = .002 and years of experience and as a health care worker, p = .000. Consistent with other studies on the knowledge about Lassa fever and its management, there is a lack of adequate knowledge of Lassa fever management among Healthcare workers. This study found that there was not infection prevention control measures put in place across governmental and private owned clinics so compliance was lacking. In conclusion, this study showed that knowledge on the management of Lassa fever both in governmental and private health facilities were less desirable putting Healthcare workers at risk of the virus. The researcher recommends that the director of the Maryland county health team should put in place proper and effective control practices and prevention strategies are crucial in the management of Lassa fever for the health care workers in the various health facilities in Harper District, Maryland County, Liberia.