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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 162-167

Injection Safety Practice among Health Workers in Static Immunisation Centres in an Urban Community of Nigeria

Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O I Musa
Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Immunisation injection accounts for less than one-tenth of the global total injections, and it is believed to be safer than therapeutic injections. However, reports have it that about one-third of immunisation injections are unsafe in many countries of the world including Africa. OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to determine the practice of sage immunisation injection among health workers in static immunisation centres in a urban community in Nigeria with a view to assessing the safety of immunisation injection services in the area. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS: Pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 102 consenting staff and observation checklist was completed for each of the 13 fixed immunisation centres in the study area. RESULTS: Most of the subjects 82(80.4%) had poor knowledge of safe immunisation injection and about the same number were not aware of any policy on injection safety. Injection abscess was the main health hazard of unsafe injection reported by majority 71(69.9) of the subjects while as few as 10(9.8%) mentioned needle prick as a health hazard. The common infections associated with unsafe injection listed by the subjects were abscess, HIV and Hepatitis in that order of frequency. Also, most of them 69(67.5%) felt that open burning is the ideal method of disposal of injection waste, while the actual method of disposal practised in most health facilities were mainly open burning (48%) and open dumping into an insecure pit (24%). Up to 83% of the subjects preferred the use of standard disposable syringes and needles for vaccination, but most of them (75(73.5%) confirmed that they use both sterilisable and disposable syringes and needles for vaccination in their health centres. BCG vaccine was exclusively administered using sterilised needles and syringes, while tetanus toxoid was given using disposable syringes and needles in virtually all the centres. Re-use of syringe for vaccine withdrawal and re-capping of used needles before discard were common practices observed while accidental needle stick injury was reported by about half (49%) of the subjects. CONCLUSION: Staff re-training, adequate supplies of injection equipment and provision of appropriate facilities for disposal of injection waste would go a long way to enhance safe immunisation injection practice in the area.

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