Needle Prick and Sharps Injuries Among Primary Health Care Workres in Tangaza Local Government Area, Sokoto State.


Needle prick and sharps injuries (NP/SI) are common among health care workers (HCWs).

The NP is the commonest route by which health care providers acquire blood born diseases from patients. PHC workers get exposed to accidental NP/SI during their routine hospital activities.

Abuse of injection, lack of occupational health services, and lack of sharps bins expose HCWs to NP/SI, while awareness and compliance to protective measures prevent NP/SI and related consequences.

However lack of data on NP/SI in this area, initiated this research to provide data for Tangaza LGA.

To determine the prevalence and circumstances of NP/SI among PHC workers in Tangaza LGA, Sokoto State.

It was a cross sectional descriptive study. Subjects were PHC workers who are most likely to be exposed to used needles and other sharp instruments.

The instrument of the study was a self administered questionnaire and analysis was done using SPSS version 15.0 soft ware.

Up to 75 4% of HCWs were aware of NP/SI hazards. There was a relationship between categories of HCWs and awareness of NP/SI hazards (p<0.05). About 76.1% and 73.9% of HCWs identified HIV and HBV to be associated with NP/SI respectively.


Background Of Study

Needle prick and sharp injuries are common accidents among health care workers and frequently expose them to occupational health hazards.

Needle prick and sharps gain more recognition from the report on a health care worker (HCW) infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by needle prick (NP) published in 1984.1

Health care workers incurred 2 million needle prick per year that result to blood born infections.2 Thus prevention of needle prick and post exposure management are necessary for promoting the health of individual HCW.

Healthcare personnel (HCP) are defined as persons (e.g., employees, students, contractors, attending clinicians, public-safety workers, or volunteers) whose activities involve contact with patients or with blood or other body fluids from patients in a health-care, laboratory, or public- safety setting.

Generally, workers represent half of the global population and contribute greatly to the economic and social value of contemporary society.

A substantial part of the general morbidity of the working population is related to work.4 It is known that the ultimate goal of ensuring that all workers in the world enjoy full physical and mental health is still far from being achieved.

As a concern that despite the availability of effective interventions for occupational health, too many workers are still exposed to unacceptable levels of occupational risks and fall victim to occupational diseases and work accidents, lose their working capacity and income potential, and still too few have access to occupational health services.

Yet occupational health is not widely acknowledged as part of public health care among health regulators and policymakers.


Beltrami EM, Williams IJ, Shapiro CN, Chamberland ME. Risk and Management of Blood- Borne Infections in Health Care Workers. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 2000;  13 (3):385-407.

Sussan Q. Preventing needle stick injuries among health care workers. Int Journ Occup Med Env Health 2004; 10:451-456.

Center for Disease Control (CDC). Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis. MMWR; June 29, 2001 / Vol. 50/ No. RR-11

World Health Organization (WHO). Declaration on Workers Health; Stresa, Italy, June 2006

Center for Disease Control (CDC). Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis. MMWR. September 30th, 2005; Vol. 54 / RR-9.

Sharm el-Sheikh. Primary health care and basic occupational health services Challenges and opportunities. Report of an intercountry workshop, Egypt, 12—14 July 2005, World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Cairo,

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