Health care worker and community awareness to the threat of an ebola outbreak in two health districts in the south west region of cameroon
CaHReF 2016, Yaoundé Conges hall, 23 – 26 August 2016 , PL023
Ebola Virus Disease is a deadly disease caused by infection with the Ebola virus. The disease is characterised by a rapid rate of transmission from person to person. Cameroon is a high risk zone according to the World Health Organisation due to its proximity to some countries that have experienced recent outbreaks of EVD and its location within the home range of fruit bats. This highlights the need for adequate preparedness measures and readiness to respond should there be an outbreak of the disease. This study therefore sort to assess the knowledge and awareness of health personnel and community inhabitants of key issues related to EVD.
The study employed a mixed cross sectional study design with quantitative and qualitative data components and was conducted in the Tiko and Buea health districts (South West Health Region of Cameroon) between April and October, 2015. The study targeted health personnel, and local people in the area. Data was collected through focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and with the use of structured questionnaires. Data was managed and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 20, Microsoft excel 2010, ATLAS.ti version 22.214.171.124 and EPI Info version 7.1.5. A total of 271 health personnel and 407 community participants were involved.
Findings from the study indicated a poor knowledge of EVD amongst 136(50.2%) health personnel and 243(63.0%) community participants. Less than 50% of both health personnel 135(49.8%) and community participants 143(37.1%) could individually identify; four signs and symptoms of EVD (five for health personnel), four modes of prevention of EVD, three means of transmission of EVD and a ‘virus’ as the cause of EVD. Only 43(28.8%) out of 271 health personnel indicated to have receive training on EVD-related Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures. Similarly, only 53(35.1%) out of 271 reported to have receive training on the proper use and application of Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE).
We therefore concluded that, health personnel and the population of the Tiko and Buea Health districts of the South West Region of Cameroon have a poor knowledge of EVD.
Ebola Virus Disease, Awareness, Knowledge and Perception.