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Niger J Clin Pract. 2019 Jul;22(7):1008-1013. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_204_18.

Hand hygiene knowledge, training and practice: A cross-sectional study in a tertiary health institution, North-central Nigeria.

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Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Unit, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Department of Medical Microbiology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Department of Pharmacy, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Plateau State, Nigeria.



Hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important means of preventing hospital-acquired infections. We set out to determine the knowledge, training gaps, and practice of HH in a tertiary health institution in a resource constrained setting.


This cross-sectional study was conducted among health care workers in a 600-bed capacity tertiary health centre. The study was conducted between April and November 2013. A multi-stage randomized sampling method was used to self-administer 322 WHO HH knowledge questionnaires. Information on HH training in the past 3 years, knowledge and practice of HH were obtained, and data were analysed using Epi-Info version 3.5.1.


A response rate of 98.5% was obtained for the HH knowledge assessment. Mean age of the study population was 39 ± 9.8. About 64% were females. Of all the respondents, only 16% had good knowledge of HH, 52% had moderate knowledge while 32% had poor knowledge. About 24% had formal training on HH. In terms of practice, only about 22% of the respondents self-reported routine practice of HH.


The findings in this study suggest that there is sub-optimal HH knowledge, practice and training. It is imperative to improve the HH training and retraining of health care workers with a focus on attendants. Administrative controls and bold signage in healthcare institutions are also recommended.


Attitude; hand-hygiene; knowledge; practice

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