oa Professional Nursing Today - Knowledge and practice regarding smoking among staff members of a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda : community nursing
Background : The use of tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in our society and despite the information delivered through materials or messages to increase awareness of the harms of tobacco, many people continue to smoke. Smoking in Rwanda is prohibited in public areas although staff in a large hospital in Kigali continue to smoke. The question arises whether the smoking behaviour of these hospital workers is due to a lack of knowledge regarding the health consequences of tobacco use, and if they are aware of strategies that can be used to help give up smoking. The smoking rates of health workers is important as it has been shown that nurses who smoke are less likely to intervene with smoking cessation programmes with patients and less inclined to advocate tobacco control policies.
Method : A descriptive survey was used to establish the knowledge and practices of smoking among staff members of a large hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. A sample of 135 people was drawn from a population of 600 staff members who were working in the hospital for the year 2003.
Results : Responses were received from 122 participants. The proportion of smokers amongst the participants was found to be 12.2%, which is higher than the estimation of prevalence of smoking amongst adults in Rwanda (10.6%).
Conclusion : Despite a comprehensive ban of smoking advertisements, as well as restrictions on smoking in public areas by the government in Rwanda, the findings in this study revealed that the number of smokers is still high even in settings that offer health care services to the public.
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