Factors influencing compliance with hand hygiene Guidelines among healthcare providers in Kenya: a case of Embu Level Five hospital, Embu county.
Healthcare-associated infections affect health care facilities and health systems globally. Prevalence rates are estimated at 15 – 31% in low- and middle-income countries whereas in developed countries prevalence rates range from 5 – 15% of hospitalized patients. An estimated five million hospital-acquired infections occur in acute care hospitals in Europe annually contributing to 135,000 deaths per year and 25 million extra days of hospital stay with an economic burden of 13 - 24 billion Euros per year. Adherence to hand hygiene guidelines is the single most important measure in reducing the healthcareacquired infection burden. The objective of this study was to determine the level of health care worker‟s compliance with hand hygiene guidelines and identify factors that influence compliance at Embu Level 5 Hospital, Embu County. A quantitative crosssectional survey was carried out between June-August 2015. Stratified random sampling method was used. Data was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 133 health care workers who included doctors, nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technologists, physiotherapists and support staff took part in the study. Descriptive analysis was done and data summarized in frequent tables and percentages. Measures of association were determined between predictor variables and compliance using Pearson‟s chi-square analysis. Males were 50.4% and females were 49.6%, with a mean age of 36.4 years and median age of 36 – 40 years. Nursing staff (40.6%) and diploma holders (44.4%) were the majority respondents in the sample respectively. The study revealed a moderate compliance rate of 46.6% among health workers. It also revealed that professional category, level of education and the level of knowledge of health care workers, and the availability of disposable paper towels and alcohol-based hand gel influence compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. The study findings suggest a need to provide continuous training on hand hygiene protocols and an improvement in the provision of hand hygiene infrastructure particularly clean tap water, hand washing soap, alcohol-based hand gel, disposable hand towels and posters on hand hygiene. These findings will be useful to the Ministry of Health‟s Infection Prevention and Control Unit in formulating new policies, strategies and interventions to improve hand hygiene practices countrywide.