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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-55

Hand-washing practices and techniques among clinical students of Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, Bayero University, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulsalam Mohammed
Department of Paediatric, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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DOI: 10.4103/1858-5000.160942

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Background: Hand-washing is an important and a single most cost-effective and practical measure that reduces the incidence of infection and cross infection among health-care providers and patients. However, compliance of health-care workers to hand hygiene guidelines are reportedly poor. It is important, therefore, to instill adequate knowledge and good attitudes and practices at the time of primary training of future health-care workers. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out among randomly selected clinical students of Bayero University Kano. The questionnaires were administered to the students during their daily ward rounds and clinic sessions. Results: One hundred and thirty-seven medical and nursing students of Bayero University Kano, who were on clinical posting were studied. Sixty-three (46%) students were aware of the Global Hand-washing day (χ2 = 5.989, df = 2, P = 0.050). Only 16 (11.7%) students were able to state correctly the Global Hand-washing date. One hundred and thirty-one (96%) students believe that hand-washing if correctly done can reduce the risk of infection. One hundred and fourteen (83.2%) students were taught hand-washing technique (χ2 = 6.862, df = 1, P = 0.009). One hundred and twenty-two (89.1%) of the students use soap and water or hand rubs in washing their hands. One hundred and two (74.5%) students are not aware of the World Health Organization five moments of hand-washing hygiene. Only 13 (9.5%) students were able to mention the steps of hand-washing correctly (χ2 = 10.285, df = 2, P = 0.006). Eighty-six (62.8%) students adhere to the principles of hand-washing in their clinical postings (χ2 = 4.404, df = 1, P = 0.036). Seventy-two (52.6%) students wash their hands before handling patients (χ2 = 7.575, df = 1, P = 0.006), but the majority 130 (94.9%) of them wash their hands after handling patients. Conclusion: There is a need for continuous teaching of medical and nursing students on the correct hand-washing techniques and to inculcate in them the habit of hand-washing before and after touching patients. This will greatly improve the safety of the potential health-care providers and patients.

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