Compliance of Dental Health Care Providers with Infection Prevention and Control Protocol in the Dental Units at UNRWA Health Centers in Gaza Governorates
Tamam Mohamed Abu Zaid
تمام محمد عبد الرحمن ابو زيد
Nowadays, the issue of cross infection becomes a vital part of dental practice and a major concern to dentists and policy makers. This is due to the increased risk of blood borne diseases. Health care-associated infections lead to increase mortality and morbidity, disability and excessive medical costs. In 2004, a National Palestinian Infection Prevention and Control Protocol has been developed, but its implementation in dental units has not yet been adequately investigated. This study aims to evaluate the compliance of dental healthcare providers with the infection prevention and control practices in all UNRWA health centers. The study included 80 participants, divided as follows; 48 dentists, 28 practical nurses and 4 oral hygienists. Three instruments were used; interviewed questionnaire for health care providers, a checklist of infection prevention and control practices of health providers and a checklist of dental units structure and suitability. All subjects positively responded. The study showed that males represented 78% and females represented 21%. Half of the respondents have had received a training on the infection prevention and control. The infection prevention and control protocol was reported to be available by 43.8% of the respondents. The study revealed that there were no severe shortages in the basic equipment and infrastructure that are needed for the protocol implementation in the dental units. In contrary, there were shortages in some items such as utility gloves, alcohol with glycerin, towel papers for beds, face mask and aprons. Regarding the participants knowledge about the infection prevention and control standards precautions; 56% said that they are familiar with this concept and of those 40% could define the term of standard precautions. Regarding measures needed to increase the compliance with infection prevention and control, participants reported decreasing work overload (46%) and rewards and punishment 21%. By observing the participants during their work, the study showed that only 35% of the respondents had washed their hands between patients, 76.7% changed gloves between patients, 80% used mouth mask when dealing with patients, 26.3% of them disinfected the dental surfaces with disinfectant solution, 1.7% used face mask, 73.8% used mouth masks, 98.7% of participants always used coats, 49.6% of the total participants disposed waste in a proper way. The study has revealed that there were no statistically significance differences between the IPC practices and the socio demographic variables. The study revealed that there were statistical significant differences between infection prevention and control practices and education and the availability of a copy of infection prevention and control protocol. The researcher recommends disseminating the infection prevention and control protocol, providing training, providing resources and adequate follow up.