The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) as one of the top ten causes of hospital death worldwide. Hand hygiene is arguably the simplest and most effective way to prevent the transmission of HCAI between one patient to another or from patients to healthcare workers. The practical implementation of hand hygiene depends on the attitude and knowledge of health practitioners regarding hand hygiene practices. The authors, therefore, investigated the knowledge attitude and hand washing practices of healthcare workers in Tanzania. The study was an institutional-based descriptive cross-sectional study conducted at Muhimbili National Hospital between 23rd July and 21st August 2020. Ethical clearance for conducting research was issued by the Institutional Review Board of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania. A total of 148 healthcare workers participated in the study. The mean age of the participants was 31.06 ± 8.160 years (range: 21 - 57). Females comprises of 50.7% of the participants. Unmarried participants constituted 61.5%. Regarding educational qualifications, 63.5% had a medical degree, while 31.8% were the nursing staff. It was found that the healthcare cadre correlated with the attitude toward hand hygiene. Of all the respondents, 62.2% had moderate knowledge about hand hygiene, while 35.10% had good knowledge. Regarding attitudes to hand hygiene practices, 62.8% had a good attitude. Concerning practices, 57.4% had good practices toward hand hygiene. More than half (64.9%) of the study participants received training in hand hygiene. Continued education and training programs should be implemented at healthcare facilities to increase hand washing compliance and knowledge among workers.
Key words: Attitude, hand hygiene, hand washing practices, HCAI, healthcare-associated infection, infection control and prevention, IPC, knowledge, Tanzania.
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