the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in January 2020, which has spread to many countries, including Zambia. Zambia has had challenges in providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) to nurses and midwives. The study’s objective was to assess the availability and accessibility of PPEs among nurses and midwives caring for women in the general hospitals in Lusaka, Zambia.
a cross-sectional analytical study design was conducted at five general hospitals in Lusaka on 162 nurses and midwives between February and April 2021, selected by purposive sampling of study sites and simple random sampling to select the participants. Data was collected using a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire and analyzed in STATA version 13. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact test were used to test associations between the independent variables and the outcome, and a multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the predictors of accessing PPEs.
out of the 162 who participated in the study, 48.8% were nurses, while 51.2% were midwives. Only 10% (16/160) of the participants reported having enough PPEs at work. Age, marital status, PPE use, employment duration, and protection confidence were associated with accessibility (P<0.05).
overall, there was an inadequate provision of PPEs in the health facilities putting the nurses and midwives at a high risk of acquiring COVID-19. Policymakers need a deliberate move to make the availability and accessibility of PPEs a reality during the pandemic.

Copyright: Sebean Mayimbo et al.