Ebola virus disease - gaps in knowledge and practice among healthcare workers in Lagos, August 2014

Trop Med Int Health. 2015 Sep;20(9):1162-1170. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12528. Epub 2015 Jun 1.


Objective: Healthcare workers (HCWs) play pivotal roles in outbreak responses. Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak spread to Lagos, Nigeria, in July 2014, infecting 11 HCWs (case fatality rate of 45%). This study was conducted during the outbreak to assess HCWs' EVD-related knowledge and practices.

Methods: A health facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted among HCWs across Lagos State using stratified sampling technique. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was administered to elicit respondents' socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and practices. A checklist assessing health facility's level of preparedness and HCWs' EVD-related training was employed. HCWs' knowledge and practices were scored and classified as either good or poor. Multivariate analysis was performed with confidence interval set at 95%.

Results: A total of 112 health facilities with 637 HCWs were recruited. Mean age of respondents was 40.1 ± 10.9 years. Overall, 72.5% had good knowledge; doctors knew most. However, only 4.6% of HCWs reported good practices. 16.6% reported having been trained in identifying suspected EVD patient(s); 12.2% had a triaging area for febrile patients in their facilities. Higher proportions of HCWs with good knowledge and training reported good practices. HCWs with EVD-related training were three times more likely to adopt good practices.

Conclusion: Lagos State HCWs had good knowledge of EVD without a corresponding level of good practices. Training was a predictor of good practices.

Keywords: Ebola virus disease; Nigeria; agents de la santé; connaissances; healthcare workers; infection control; knowledge; maladie du virus Ebola; practices; pratiques; prévention des infections.