Knowledge And Preparedness Of Medical Officers And Nursing Officers In Managing Ebola Patients At The National Institute Of Infectious Diseases, Sri Lanka

Gaffoor T.H, Saravanabavan N, Samarasinghe A.P, Arnold S.M


Introduction: Outbreaks suggested that healthcare-associated transmission of Ebola disease is high due to close contact with an infected person. Therefore, preparedness in managing Ebola patients at designated healthcare institutions is crucial. Medical and nursing officers are the front-line staff in managing an outbreak and risk their lives when handling the patients at the hospital. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases which is the main specialized hospital for infectious diseases in Sri Lanka. The study consisted of a review of health facility infrastructure, availability of equipment, outbreak surveillance, and assessing the knowledge in managing Ebola patients among medical and nursing officers. A self -administered questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and preparedness of medical and nursing officers. A checklist was administered to assess the hospital’s preparedness. Results: Availability of personal protective equipment for Ebola outbreak management such as PPE for standard and droplet precautions, impermeable gowns, N95 masks, and eye protection ware was adequate. However, there were no Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms available. Nearly half (n=60, 45.1%) of the study participants did not know the type of PPE that has to be worn when managing Ebola patients. Overall a majority (n=30, 93.8%) of medical officers and 65 (64.4%) of nursing officers reported more than 50% in the total knowledge score in managing Ebola disease. Conclusions: Most of the study participants had overall satisfactory knowledge in managing an outbreak of Ebola but there were gaps. Keywords: Ebola, outbreak, knowledge, preparedness


Ebola, outbreak, knowledge, preparedness.

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