Assessment of Healthcare Workers’ Levels of Preparedness and Awareness Regarding COVID-19 Infection in Low-Resource Settings



Elhadi M, Msherghi A, Alkeelani M, Zorgani A, Zaid A, Alsuyihili A, Buzreg A, Ahmed H, Elhadi A, Khaled A, Boughididah T, Khel S, Abdelkabir M, Gaffaz R, Bahroun S, Alhashimi A, Biala M, Abulmida S, Elharb A, Abukhashem M, Elgzairi M, Alghanai E, Khaled T, Boushi E, Ben Saleim N, Mughrabi H, Alnafati N, Alwarfalli M, Elmabrouk A, Alhaddad S, Madi F, Madi M, Elkhfeefi F, Ismaeil M, Faraag B, Badi M, Al-Agile A, Eisay M, Ahmid J, Elmabrouk O, Bin Alshiteewi F, Alameen H, Bikhayr H, Aleiyan T, Almiqlash B, Subhi M, Fadel M, Yahya H, Alkot S, Alhadi A, Abdullah A, Atewa A, Amshai A.


Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2):828-833. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0330. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is spreading rapidly worldwide, with devastating consequences for patients, healthcare workers, health systems, and economies. As it reaches low- and middle-income countries, the pandemic puts healthcare workers at high risk and challenges the abilities of healthcare systems to respond to the crisis. This study measured levels of knowledge and preparedness regarding COVID-19 among physicians and nurses. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among healthcare workers in Libya between February 26 and March 10, 2020. We obtained 1,572 valid responses of a possible 2,000 (78.6%) participants from 21 hospitals, of which 65.1% were from physicians and 34.9% from nurses. The majority of participants (70%) used social media as a source of information. A total of 47.3% of doctors and 54.7% of nurses received adequate training on how to effectively use personal protective equipment. Low confidence in managing suspected COVID-19 patients was reported by 83.8% of participants. Furthermore, 43.2% of healthcare workers were aware of proper hand hygiene techniques. Less than 7% of participants received training on how to manage COVID-19 cases, whereas 20.6% of doctors and 26.3% of nurses felt that they were personally prepared for the outbreak. Awareness and preparedness for the pandemic were low among frontline workers during the study. Therefore, an effective educational training program should be implemented to ensure maintenance of appropriate practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Link/DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0330