Author(s): Masood Hussain Rao, Ghazala Mohyuddin Arain, Misbahul Islam Khan, IjazulHaque Taseer, Kanaya Lal Talreja, Ghazanfar Al, Muhammad Khashif Munir, Saima Naz, Iqbal Hussain, Jamil Ahmed
Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitude and practices of hand washing in major Public sector Hospitals of Pakistan and see the differences in practices in different levels of health care workers.
Settings: Cross sectional hospital based survey conducted in all provinces of Pakistan in major tertiary care hospitals.
Subjects and Methods: A Cross sectional hospital based survey was conducted on knowledge, attitude and practices of hand washing in doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. From each hospital 10 OPD’s and 10 wards i.e. 2 medical, 2 Surgical, Gynae, Peads, Dermatology, Eye, ENT, and Causality/ICU were selected and from each unit. Four doctors, four nurses and two paramedical staff were interviewed.
Results A total of 3243 respondents were interviewed. Of these 87.3% had knowledge of hand washing. Hand washing facilities were available at 75% places and 69% respondents practiced hand hygiene, but only 58.8% washed their hands for more than 20 seconds. Majority used antibacterial soap bought by them. Rush of the patients, shortage of time, non availability of soap and water and lack of encouragement by seniors were the major causes for low hand hygiene practice.
Conclusions: Almost 25% sites in major public sector tertiary hospitals did not have hand washing facilities but where available most health care providers were using them.
Policy message: Majority despite having knowledge, need motivation and continuous education of hand hygiene. Facilities of hand hygiene should be made available.