Navigating Through Needles: Elevating Safety Protocols against Needlestick Injuries among Healthcare Workers in Bo Government Hospital

Exton Mohamed Zoker , Osman Thullah , Samuel Karim

Abstract


Addressing the criticality of needlestick and sharps injuries within healthcare settings, this community service initiative seeks to bring light and solutions to the issues haunting healthcare workers (HCWs) in Bo Government Hospital, Sierra Leone. Despite the lurking dangers, the absence of accurate and official statistics regarding needlestick injuries is startling, largely attributed to the lack of a precise standard occupational reporting system. The World Health Organization underscores that approximately 3 million HCWs globally are at risk annually of occupational exposures to blood-borne viruses, with a staggering 90% of these incidents occurring in developing nations. This service initiative ventured into the operating rooms, emergency rooms, and ICUs of Bo Government Hospital with a multi-faceted approach to safeguard our frontline healthcare heroes. We implemented a series of workshops and training programs, aiming at elevating the knowledge level of HCWs on blood-borne diseases, standard precautions, and adherence to them, given that these have been pinpointed as crucial factors in needlestick injury (NSI) incidents. Moreover, we introduced a pragmatic and user-friendly occupational injury reporting system, tailored to the unique challenges and requirements of the hospital's environment. Strategies to enhance the proper use of protective equipment, effectively manage workload, and ensure adherence to standardized safety protocols were meticulously designed and executed. By weaving through each department, our initiative not only sought to cultivate a safer working environment but also aimed to mitigate the risks of NSIs through tangible, actionable strategies, thereby aspiring to improve patient safety and healthcare delivery within the Bo Government Hospital. Through this initiative, we strived to amplify the voices and concerns of HCWs, advocating for safer working conditions and paving the way for a robust, resilient, and secure healthcare environment in Sierra Leone.


Keywords


health workers; injuries; needle Sticks

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.58524/smartsociety.v3i1.205

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