Prevalence of occupational injuries and knowledge of availability and utilization of post exposure prophylaxis among health care workers in Singida District Council, Singida Region, Tanzania

Kimaro L1,2, Adinan J2,3,4, Damian DJ2,3, Njau B2,3 1. Singida District Council, Singida, Tanzania. 2. Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi Tanzania. 3. Community Health Department, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania. 4. School of Assistant Medical Officer (AMO), KCMC. Moshi, Tanzania.
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Infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a serious public health problem that threatens the lives of many people including health care workers. Health care workers are frequently exposed to occupational hazards throughout their careers. Health care workers are at risk of being infected by the virus when caring for patients in health care facilities. Utilization of HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis (HIV PEP) is very vital once an individual is exposed.


The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of occupational exposure, knowledge of, availability and utilization of post exposure prophylaxis among health care workers in Singida District Council, Tanzania.


A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted from April to May 2013. Health care workers actively treating patients were enrolled from 18 heath facilities in Singida District Council. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire, and analysed using Stata version 12.


Out of 239 participants, slightly more than half, 124 (52%) had inadequate overall knowledge of HIV PEP. Of the 239, 121(50.6%) participants experienced occupational exposure. Two leading types of exposure were blood splash 57(47.1%) and needle stick injuries 45 (37.2%),respectively. Among the 121 exposed participants, 83(68.6%) reported the exposure incident, 91(75.2%) had an HIV test, 32 (26.4%), started HIV PEP after testing, 28 (23.1%), completed HIV PEP, and 65 (53.7%) had a follow-up HIV test. About two thirds (159/239), of participants reported that HIV PEP services were available at the time the study was conducted, and 49 (20.5%), reported daily access to HIV PEP service.


The prevalence of occupational exposure among health care workers is high with low utilization of HIV PEP. The majority of healthcare workers had inadequate knowledge of HIV PEP. The findings highlight the need to improve the level of knowledge of HIV PEP and utilization of PEP among this at-high-risk-group in Singida.