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Assessment of vaccination status and other preventive practices among health care workers in hajj season, 1428 H (2007G).


While providing care to the patients, health care workers are at a higher risk for infections with blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B and C and infectious diseases like meningitis and influenza. Health care workers are notorious for ignoring standard preventive measures, when it comes to their own safety; however there is hardly any documentation about these behaviors in Hajj environment. Under the circumstances, it was considered pertinent to study the behavior of health care workers in Hajj, regarding safety measures against occupational infectious disease hazards.


A cross sectional study was conducted to assess the vaccination status, knowledge and practice of safety measures among health care workers In Hajj, 1428 H. Bilingual (English/Arabic) self-administered questionnaire has been designed to collect information from health workers, in three hospitals and 13 primary health care centers in Makkah.


Age of the HCWs ranged from 21 to 63 years. Their mean age was 36.3 ± 9.9 years, 435(32.3%) wear from hospitals and 206(32.1%) were from primary health care centers, males were 412(64.3%) and females were 229(35.7%), most of them 487(76.0%) were from Makkah, and the remaining 154(24.0%) were from outside Makkah, of the total vaccinated HCWs against meningitis 438(74.7%) received a valid vaccine more than 10 days to less than 3 years, 386(64.8%) of vaccinated HCWS received Quadrivalent (ACYW135), while 41(7.0%) received Bivalent(AC) meningococcal vaccine, 310(48.3%) of HCWs received Influenza vaccine, and 428(66.8%) received complete three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Regarding safety measures 452 (70.5%) of HCWs heard about universal precautions and 96 (15.0%) never heard about these universal precautions, and only 64.6% of the HCWs would apply these precautions to all patients. Poor practice toward washing hands before touching the patients as only 23% of workers wash their hands. The best practice was to change gloves in between care of patients, where 460 (81.5%) of workers changed gloves in between care of patients. 130 (20.0%) of HCWs got needle pricks during their work in Hajj, of these needle pricks only 34 (26.2%) were notified.


Vaccination of health care workers in Hajj against meningococcal meningitis, influenza and hepatitis B is poor, moreover, their knowledge and practice regarding safety measures in the working environment is suboptimal, and certain strategies to improve the vaccination coverage and increase awareness of heath care workers regarding the importance of the practice of safety measures during work, needs to be taken.