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Assessing infection control practices to protect health care workers and patients in Malawi from nosocomial transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Assessing infection control practices to protect health care workers and patients in Malawi from nosocomial transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
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Flick RJ, Munthali A, Simon K, Hosseinipour M, Kim MH, Mlauzi L, Kazembe PN, Ahmed S,


Flick RJ, Munthali A, Simon K, Hosseinipour M, Kim MH, Mlauzi L, Kazembe PN, Ahmed S, (click to view)

Flick RJ, Munthali A, Simon K, Hosseinipour M, Kim MH, Mlauzi L, Kazembe PN, Ahmed S,

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PloS one 2017 12 0612(12) e0189140 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0189140

Abstract

Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in health settings threatens health care workers and people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Nosocomial transmission is reduced with implementation of infection control (IC) guidelines. The objective of this study is to describe implementation of TB IC measures in Malawi. We conducted a cross-sectional study utilizing anonymous health worker questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with facility managers, and direct observations at 17 facilities in central Malawi. Of 592 health care workers surveyed, 34% reported that all patients entering the facility were screened for cough and only 8% correctly named the four most common signs and symptoms of TB in adults. Of 33 managers interviewed, 7 (21%) and 1 (3%) provided the correct TB screening questions for use in adults and children, respectively. Of 592 health workers, only 2.4% had been screened for TB in the previous year. Most (90%) reported knowing their HIV status, 53% were tested at their facility of employment, and half reported they would feel comfortable receiving ART or TB treatment at their facility of employment. We conclude that screening is infrequently conducted and knowledge gaps may undercut its effectiveness. Further, health care workers do not routinely access TB and HIV diagnostic and treatment services at their facility of employment.

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