KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, AND PRACTICES TOWARD LASSA FEVER MANAGEMENT AMONG HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN MARYLAND COUNTY, LIBERIA
Neonora, Ade Payne-Barclay
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This research study examined the knowledge, attitude, and practices towards Lassa fever (LF) management among healthcare workers in Maryland County, Liberia West Africa. 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. This sought to study explored the relationship between knowledge, attitude and practice towards Lassa fever management among healthcare workers in Maryland County, Liberia. 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 study also showed that compliance to the control and prevention of Lassa fever management among healthcare workers is lacking due to the fact that none of the clinics and hospital have infection protective control practice put in place towards Lassa fever management. The researcher recommends the Director of the Maryland county health team must put in place proper and effective control practice and prevention strategies which are crucial in the management of Lassa fever for the healthcare workers. Both the public and private health facilities must consistently put priority in place to implement standard infection prevention and control interventions when caring for febrile patients to prevent nosocomial infections including Lassa fever. Sensitization on knowledge of LF by the Williams V S Tubman University through media platforms all year round in the county with an added focus on the students of health sciences.