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Healthcare Workers’ Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Perceived Health Facility Preparedness Regarding COVID-19 in Sierra Leone

Authors Kanu S, James PB, Bah AJ, Kabba JA, Kamara MS, Williams CEE, Kanu JS

Received 16 October 2020

Accepted for publication 8 December 2020

Published 11 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 67—80

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S287156

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Sulaiman Kanu,1,* Peter Bai James,2,3,* Abdulai Jawo Bah,2,4,5 John Alimamy Kabba,6 Musa Salieu Kamara,1 Christine Ellen Elleanor Williams,7 Joseph Sam Kanu8

1University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex, Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone; 2Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone; 3Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia; 4Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone; 5Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University Edinburg, Musselburgh, Scotland, UK; 6Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, Center for Drug Safety and Policy Research, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China; 7Sierra Leone–China Friendship Hospital, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Freetown, Sierra Leone; 8Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Freetown, Sierra Leone

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Peter Bai James
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Email jamepeb@yahoo.com

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are known to spearhead the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, their knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) toward coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are considered critical to the success of the current COVID-19 response efforts. This study aims to determine HCWs’ KAP toward COVID-19 and assesses their perception of their healthcare facilities preparedness to respond appropriately to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone.
Methods: We conducted an online cross-sectional study among HCWs (n=516) between 1st May 2020 and 30th June 2020. We collected our data using a self-administered structured questionnaire via email and online social media platforms. We analyzed our data using descriptive statistics and regression analysis (p< 0.05).
Results: Close to three-fourth of HCWs (n=375, 72.7%) were knowledgeable regarding COVID-19. Doctors were more knowledgeable than community health workers and laboratory technicians (AOR= 2.48, 95% CI: 1.16– 5.31, p=0.019) regarding COVID-19. Close to two-thirds of HCWs (n=301, 58.3%) HCWs show positive attitudes toward COVID-19. Being male (AOR=2.08, 95% CI: 1.36– 3.20, p=0.001) and directly involved in COVID-19 patient care (AOR=3.21, 95% CI: 1.88– 5.48, p< 0.001) were identified as predictors of positive attitude towards COVID-19. HCWs are generally adhering to COVID-19 safe practices with majority indicating that they regularly wash or sanitize their hands (n=510, 98.8%) and used facemask at point of care (n=499, 96.7%). Majority of HCWs are of the view that their healthcare facilities are ill-prepared to adequately respond to COVID-19 with majority (n= 400, 77.5%) of them stating that their facilities lack enough personal protective equipment.
Conclusion: HCWs in Sierra Leone showed good knowledge, positive attitude and practice regarding COVID-19. However, HCWs are of the view that their healthcare facilities are ill-prepared to respond adequately to the COVID-19 outbreak. Health authorities and policymakers need to provide the necessary resources to allow HCWs to work in a safe environment.

Keywords: COVID-19, knowledge, attitude, practice, healthcare workers, Sierra Leone

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