Injection Safety among Primary Health Care Workers in Jazan Region, Saudi Arabia

AA Ismail, MS Mahfouz, A Makeen


Background: Occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries is a substantial source of infections with blood-borne pathogens among health-care workers. Few studies evaluated injection safety practices in Saudi Arabia.

Objective: To examine the structure and process of injection safety at primary health care level in Jazan health district, to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary health care physicians and nurses towards injection safety, and to determine the incidence of needle stick injuries among health care workers in Jazan region, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jazan primary health care centers (PHCCs), Saudi Arabia from September 2011 to March 2012. Data were collected using an observational checklist and data collection sheet. Jazan city health district was chosen at random from the 14 health sectors in Jazan region. All the 33 (10 urban, and 23 rural) PHCCs of Jazan city were included in this study to get the predetermined sample size of health care workers. 200 health care workers (HCWs) were recruited (29% physicians, and 71% nurses).

Results: Syringes in the PHCCs were disposable (100%), individually packed (92%), and available at all volumes (98%). Methods of safe disposal of needles and sharps were also operated through contracting with professional companies in 84.8% of instances. Urban PHCCs had more posts for injection safety promotion than rural centers (p=0.02). Continuous Medical Education (CME) programs on infection control were present in only 60% of PHCCs. At least 95% of HCWs in Jazan believed that sharp objects should be kept in a puncture-proof container, kept in a closed container, or disposed by a professional company. More than 80% of HCWs washed their hands by soap and water and cleaned them by alcohol before giving injection, and also got the three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.The rate of needle stick injury in the past year was 14%, without a significant difference between nurses and physicians (p=0.8).

Conclusion: Jazan PHCCs have reasonable facilities that prevent needle-stick injuries. We need to design and implement more educational programs on safety injection, and increase promotion of safety injection posters, especially in rural PHCCs.


Injections; Safety; Syringes; Health care provider; Saudi Arabia

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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