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Table 2 Synthesis of projects implemented through the training programme in Free State, South Africa a

From: Protecting health workers from infectious disease transmission: an exploration of a Canadian-South African partnership of partnerships

Project title Trainees Setting Objective Methods Key findings
Investigating TB infection control practices in Outpatient Department (OPD) ( SE Mmutle,
MR Morake,
ME Moea,
NF Jacobs
OPD at Pelonomi Hospital (large regional referral centre, Bloemfontein) - To make recommendations to management regarding TB infection control - Self-administered questionnaires assessing TB infection control knowledg & practice
- Workplace assessment checklist to assess hazards and best practice
- Only 24 % of HCWs reported that they are screened annually for TB
- 47 % answered questions related to personal protective equipment correctly
- 84 % reported asking coughing patients to practice respiratory etiquette
- Sputum collection area was inaccessible
Reducing the risk of DOTS supporters acquiring TB during home visits ( N Nyembe,
N Jacobs,
D Mofokeng
Neighbourhood communities (Bloemfontein & Welkom) - To identify and assess strategies used by DOTS supporters from NGOs to reduce TB transmission
- To assess the impact of a TB infection control training intervention
- Pre & post questionnaires assessing TB knowledge, attitudes & beliefs
- Interviews assessing TB knowledge & practice
- 2-day training programme
- Infection control practices audit
- Overall improvement in levels of knowledge, attitudes beliefs regarding TB
- Lack of administrative controls & use of personal protective equipment identified
- No N95 respirators available
- Health & safety problems were reported to coordinators but not followed up
Creating a safe environment for patients and staff in the bronchoscopy theatre ( HM Madiehe,
ML Magerman,
MJ Morweng,
ME Motloheloa,
A Smuts,
TC Walaza,
EA Wiese
Bronchoscopy theatre at Universitas Academic Hospital
(large tertiary hospital, Bloemfontein)
- To assess compliance with TB infection control guidelines
- To make recommendations to minimize TB exposures for staff and patients
- Structured observations to evaluate infection control practices in the bronchoscopy theatre & waiting room
- Checklist-based environmental risk assessment of the theatre
- Improvement rate in infection control compliance from 46 % to 83 %
- Environmental risks identified included overcrowding, poor ventilation, lack of hand-washing supplies & cluttered surfaces
Strengthening the OHC for the management of TB in the health care workplace ( L Benson,
DA Kololo,
NJ Sidyiyo,
MW Moliko,
J Nkhatho,
NW Phandle,
H Langfoot
Universitas Academic Hospital - To strengthen the workplace TB programme in the OHC - A feasibility study was conducted to inform development of a cough registry
- Occupational health & safety tools were developed: the cough registry, permission slips, a plan for diagnosis and treatment of HCWs with TB
- Operational managers were trained on the use of the cough registry
- These activities led to an increase in utilisation of the Occupational Health Clinic
- Confidentiality was identified as a barrier
Improving infection control and safety practices in the Central Laundry: A baseline assessment ( MM Litsoane, KD Moeketsi Free State Provincial Laundry Facility (Bloemfontein) - To assess occupational health & infection control knowledge & practice
- To minimize workplace exposures/hazards
- Self-administered questionnaire assessing occupational health & infection control knowledge & practice - Hepatitis B vaccination reported by 85 %
- 90 % reported no training was received on needle-stick injury prevention
- 72 % reported never using eye protection
- 82 % knew how to contact the health & safety representative, but only 56 % reported doing so
Reducing blood and body fluid exposure in the workplace ( L Nkoko Thebe District Hospital in Thabo Mofutsanyana (mid-sized rural hospital) - To determine knowledge, attitudes & practices of HCWs regarding exposure to blood and body fluids - A questionnaire investigating BBF exposures, reporting of exposures, & HCWs’ knowledge of infection control and occupational health resources was distributed to all HCWs in 11 high-risk departments in the hospital - Many respondents did not know enough about BBF exposures actions.
- HCWs take immunisation for Hepatitis B seriously
- Most take precautions to avoid BBF exposures; most report exposures.
- OHS representatives need to be more proactive within their units.
- More training is needed on sharps disposal & the importance of using personal protective equipment.
Improving utilisation of workplace HIV and AIDS programme for healthcare workers at Pelonomi Hospital ( N Brandsel,
M Ntlola,
N Myeko,F Tlhapuletsa
Pelonomi Hospital (large tertiary hospital in Bloemfontein) - To understand why the Occupational Health Service (OHS) is under-utilised for the HIV & AIDS program in order to determine what can be done to improve the service. - Self-administered questionnaires consisting of both closed & open-ended questions.
- The questionnaire was piloted, translated & back translated before distribution to a stratified sample of HCWs representing all categories of occupation, sex, race & age
- 57.6 % knew that HIV treatment is available at the OHS
- 71.3 % agreed that occupational health (OH) practitioners are well trained to offer HCT, while 70.4 % agreed that OH practitioners encourage people to use the ORS unit for HIV and AIDS services
- 71.2 % believed that confidentiality is maintained at the OHS unit most or all of the time, however, when asked what factors explain why HCWs do not access HIV services at OHS unit, most stated that they feared that confidentiality will not be maintained (37.3 %)
  1. a For more information on the Certificate Programme offered at the University of Free State, through the assistance of the partnership details see Liautaud A, Yassi A, Engelbrecht M, O’Hara L, Rau A, Bryce E, Spiegel J, Uebel K, Zungu M, Roscoe D, et al.: Building Capacity to Design, Implement and Evaluate Action Research Projects to Decrease the Burden of HIV and TB in the Healthcare Workforce: A South African- Canadian Collaboration. Open Medicine 2013, 7:s33 [48]. For Abstracts and presentations for each project see the weblinks noted. For Project #6, see L. Nkoko et al. 2014 [50]