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Prevention of infection in a surgical environment in the regional hospitals of Senegal Volume 10, issue 3, Mai - Juin 2000

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Authors
Clinique de gynécologie obstétrique, CHU de Dakar, BP 15745 Dakar Fann, Sénégal.
  • Page(s) : 189-94
  • Published in: 2000

This study evaluated the attitudes and practices of the personnel with respect to the prevention of nosocomial infections in a hospital environment. We carried out a qualitative survey of all categories of personnel between July 1998 and March 1999, at the five regional hospitals in Senegal (Thiés, Kaolack, Saint-Louis, Diourbel, and Louga). Data were collected in two ways: using a questionnaire to evaluate knowledge and by observing the attitudes and practices of the personnel. Hands were rarely washed before and after each procedure and surgical washing was often performed in poor conditions. The decontamination of soiled equipment was ineffective. Reusable instruments were washed directly with bare hands or by individuals wearing used surgical gloves. The equipment used for sterilization was dilapidated and unsuitable and the norms for sterilization were seldom respected. Circulation in the region of the operating theatre was disorganized, if not anarchic. The personnel had a high risk of contamination from blood. Biomedical waste was not decontaminated: it was collected poorly and disposed of directly into the environment. None of the sites visited had a program of waste incineration. In conclusion, at the sites visited, there is a high risk of nosocomial contamination during care and the reuse of equipment, for both the staff and the patients treated.