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An observational study of hand hygiene compliance of surgical healthcare workers in a Nigerian teaching hospital

Ataiyero, Yetunde; Dyson, Judith; Graham, Moira


Yetunde Ataiyero

Judith Dyson

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Dr Moira Graham
Lecturer in Public Health / Graduate Research Director in the School of Health and Social Work


Background: Patients sometimes contract healthcare associated infections (HCAI) which are unrelated to their primary reasons for hospital admission. Surgical site infections are the most investigated and most recurrent type of HCAI in developing countries, affecting up to one-third of surgical patients. Objective: This study aimed to assess and offer context to the hand hygiene resources available in a Nigerian teaching hospital through ward infrastructure survey, and to determine the hand hygiene compliance rate among surgical healthcare workers (HCWs) in a Nigerian teaching hospital through hand hygiene observations. Methods: Ward infrastructure survey was conducted in the two adult surgical wards of the hospital using the World Health Organisation (WHO) hand hygiene ward infrastructure survey form. Hand hygiene observations were monitored over seven days in the surgical wards using a modified WHO hand hygiene observation form. Results: Hand hygiene resources were insufficient, below the WHO recommended minimum standards. Seven hundred hand hygiene opportunities were captured. Using SPSS version 24.0, we conducted a descriptive analysis of audit results, and results were presented according to professional group, seniority and hand hygiene opportunities of the participants. Overall hand hygiene compliance was 29.1% and compliance was less than 40% across the three professional groups of doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants. Conclusion: Hand hygiene compliance rates of the surgical HCWs are comparable to those in other Sub-Saharan African countries as well as in developed countries.


Ataiyero, Y., Dyson, J., & Graham, M. (2022). An observational study of hand hygiene compliance of surgical healthcare workers in a Nigerian teaching hospital. Journal of Infection Prevention, 23(2), 59-66.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 17, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 25, 2022
Publication Date 2022-03
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2023
Journal Journal of Infection Prevention
Print ISSN 1757-1774
Electronic ISSN 1757-1782
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 2
Pages 59-66
Keywords Hand hygiene; Compliance; Surgical healthcare workers; Nigeria; Sub-Saharan Africa; Developing countries; Low- and middle-income countries
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Accepted manuscript (861 Kb)

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2022.. DOI:

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