oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Assessment of existing practices in the operating theatre in the Khartoum North Teaching Hospital, Sudan : original research



This study, assessing existing practices in the operating theatre regarding hand washing, disinfection and sterilisation, was conducted at Khartoum North Teaching Hospital. As far as we know, this is the first study of its kind since the inauguration of the hospital in 1950. A total of 55 health personnel working in the operating theatre participated in the study. These included nurses and environmental service personnel (housekeepers and sterilisation and disinfection personnel). Knowledge and practice were evaluated using multiple choice and direct interview questions. Operation theatre sterilisation and disinfection practices were monitored using checklists modified from World Health Organization recommendations. A marked lack of knowledge and defective attitudes and practices were observed among a large number of personnel. It was observed that 51% of the nurses were 46 years of age or older and that two-thirds had only a primary and intermediate school level education. The study recommends the upgrading of the operating theatres and additional training and education of staff. Theatres should be provided with facilities for proper disinfection and waste disposal. Qualified nurses should be employed. We also recommend the establishment of an infection control committee. The role of the committee would include the planning and execution of hygiene policies. In addition, planning and organising training courses in infection control should be seen as a priority.


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