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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2002 Jan;22(1):75-8.

Occupational health hazards among health care workers in an obstetrics and gynaecology unit of a Nigerian teaching hospital.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Teaching Hospitals Complex, Obafemi Awolowo University, PMB 5538, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.


The occupational health hazards among health-care workers in an obstetrics and gynaecology unit were investigated. A total of 78 pretested questionnaires were administered to the doctors, nurses and ward orderlies in the unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. The common occupational health hazards were work-related stress (83.3%), needle-stick injuries (75.6%), bloodstains on skin (73.1%), sleep disturbance (42.3%), skin reactions (37.2%) assault from patients (24.3%) and hepatitis (8.9%). Nearly half of the staff used diazepam, lexotan or alcohol to cope with the stress of work. A greater percentage of doctors compared to nurses and ward orderlies used safety precautions such as gloves, facemasks and aprons. All the staff employed regular handwashing after various procedures. However no category of staff adopted regularly proper disposal of needles and sharps into separate puncture-resistant containers. About 59% of the staff recap used needles. The implications of the findings were discussed and recommendations made appropriately.

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