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The hospital is a high risk environment for the transmission of infections to health care workers, visitors, patients and the surrounding community. Healthcare workers are exposed to a variety of hazards which predisposes these “indispensable carers” to various life threatening infections and diseases. This study is aimed at evaluating the occupational hygiene and infection control practices in Federal Medical Center (FMC) Owerri and FMC Yenayoa, both located within southern Nigeria. Descriptive cross sectional study using a structured questionnaire and walk-through safety checklist was employed. A total of 379 healthcare workers were selected through disproportionate stratified sampling from the two facilities. The questionnaires were self-administered and analyzed using SPSS Version 22.0. Frequencies, chi-square were computed and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify the predisposing factors to which health workers are exposed; 60.7% of respondents were male, dominant age group; 30 – 39yrs, nurses represented a larger proportion (34.8%) of healthcare workers in this study; 51.7% and 48.3% of respondents in FMC Yenagoa and FMC Owerri respectively had a good knowledge of hazards and controls. There was a significant difference with chi-square as, 9.710 p-Value <0.008. Good level of attitude was 44.7% in Owerri and 21.2% in Yenagoa, chi-square 18.295 p-Value <0.001. Overall level of occupational hygiene and infection control practices was poor in both facilities. Health care workers had a very high level of exposure to ergonomic hazards (88.9%) and biological hazards 47.6% in Owerri and 55.3% in Yenagoa. Nurses were 5 times more at risk of ergonomic hazards (95%CI) – 5.96 (2.19–16.24) p-Value < 0.001, while Medical Laboratory scientists were 5 times more at risk of chemical hazards (OR = 5.98, 95CI: 3.05–11.69, p-Value <0.001). The checklist revealed that both facilities were of imminent high risk category. Health care workers at FMC Yenagoa had higher exposures to all five categories of hazards than FMC Owerri. Working in FMC Owerri predisposes workers to higher health hazards than in FMC Yenagoa. There was better administrative controls including trainings and immunizations in FMC Yenagoa than in FMC Owerri.
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