The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 2016 12 0596(2) 400-404 doi 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0287
Health-care workers (HCWs) are at risk of infections associated with accidental exposure to blood, including viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV). A survey using a questionnaire was conducted on 250 HCW in Bukavu, an eastern town of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to analyze their attitude and knowledge about these two viruses. A response rate of 86.8% (217/250) was obtained. The mean age of the respondents was 39.6 ± 9.8 years, in majority from paramedical staff (66.4%) and with more than 5 years of professional experience (60.8%). The mean proportion of adequate answers on HBV and HCV was 33.2% (±11%) and 30.6% (±7%), respectively. Ninety-three HCW (42.8%) reported recent experience of blood exposure accident, more frequently among the paramedical staff (50%) than physicians (28.8%; P = 0.002). This was mainly related to inadequate protection resources (76.9%). Among all participants, only 24.4% had a history of at least one injection of HBV vaccine; this was more frequently found among physicians than among paramedical staff (49.3% versus 11.8%; P < 0.001). Moreover, only 3.8% of vaccinated HCW received the complete vaccination schedule of three vaccine doses. The efficiency of this vaccine is not well recognized by HCW, and the majority of them seemed to be more worried about the risk of infection by human immunodeficiency virus than by viral hepatitis. Our study reveals that the level of knowledge about HBV and HCV is rather low among HCW in Bukavu.