Good hand hygiene (HH) practice is crucial to reducing healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) at health facilities is strongly recommended but it is limited in Uganda. Data on the practice of HH and the incidence of HAIs is sparse in resource-limited settings. We conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate HH practices of health care providers (HCPs) utilizing locally made ABHR and the incidence of HAIs.
HH compliance among HCPs and the incidence of HAIs were assessed at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, a teaching hospital in rural Uganda. Inpatients from the obstetrics/gynecology (OBGYN), pediatric and surgical departments were enrolled on their day of admission and followed up during their hospital stay. The baseline (pre-intervention) phase of 12-weeks was followed by a 12-week intervention phase where training for HH practice was provided to all HCPs present on the target wards and ABHR was supplied on the wards. Incidence of HAIs and or Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) was measured and compared between the baseline and intervention phases. Multivariate survival analysis was performed to identify associated variables with HAIs/SIRS.
A total of 3335 patients (26.3%) were enrolled into the study from a total of 12,665 admissions on the study wards over a 24-week period. HH compliance rate significantly improved from 9.2% at baseline to 56.4% during the intervention phase (p < 0.001). The incidence of HAIs/SIRS was not significantly changed between the baseline and intervention phases (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.07, 95% CI: 0.79 – 1.44). However, subgroup analyses showed significant reduction in HAIs/SIRS on the pediatric and surgical departments (IRR 0.21 (95% CI: 0.10 – 0.47) and IRR 0.39 (95% CI: 0.16 – 0.92), respectively) while a significant increase in HAIs/SIRS was found on the OBGYN department (IRR 2.99 (95% CI: 1.92 – 4.66)). Multivariate survival analysis showed a significant reduction in HAIs/SIRS with ABHR use on pediatric and surgical departments (adjusted hazard ratio 0.26 (95% CI: 0.15 – 0.45)).
To our knowledge, this study is one of the largest studies that address HAIs in Africa. During the 24-week study period, significant improvement in HH compliance was observed by providing training and ABHR. The intervention was associated with a significant reduction in HAIs/SIRS on the pediatric and surgical departments. Further research is warranted to integrate HAIs surveillance into routine practice and to identify measures to further prevent HAIs in resource limited settings.
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- Alcohol-based hand rub and incidence of healthcare associated infections in a rural regional referral and teaching hospital in Uganda (‘WardGel’ study)
- BioMed Central
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