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Knowledge and attitude of healthcare workers at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport regarding preventive measures of communicable diseases for pilgrims, Jeddah 1430H (2009).


The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia is exerting all possible efforts to apply preventive measures against imported infectious diseases by inspecting pilgrims upon their arrival at 15 entry points. King Abdul Aziz International Airport is considered the main entry point for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. At this point of entry pilgrims are checked for their fulfillment of the requirements issued by the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia for entry visas for the Hajj. The aim of this study is to determine the level of knowledge and attitude of healthcare workers towards these preventive measures.


A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at King Abdul Aziz International Airport Hajj terminals during the Hajj seasons from 25th to 30th Dhu al-Qa'da 1430 H. The sample included all HCWs in the Hajj terminals (n=325). Data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire which included information about demographic characteristics, previous training courses, health care workers' knowledge of preventive measures, their attitudes and difficulties they faced when applying them. Data entry, tabulation and analysis were done using Epi Info (version 3.5.1).


A total number of 325 healthcare workers agreed and returned the completed questionnaires, representing a response rate of 96%. Physicians showed a better level of knowledge than other healthcare workers. Physicians with >75% score represented 61.9%. This is to be compared with 29.9% among health inspectors and 20.0% among nurses and 20.7% for other health specialties (p<0. 001). Forty nine percent of healthcare workers with > 20 years of experience scored more than 75% which was higher than healthcare workers who had 11 to 20 years of experience (27.8%) and healthcare workers with years of experience between 1 to 10 years (22.7%) (p=0.002). Reading written guidelines revealed a significantly higher level of knowledge (32%) compared to those who didn't (24.4%) (p=0.018). There was no significant association between numbers of Hajj participation and previous training courses taken by HCWs on the level of knowledge.


Large proportion of health care workers didn't receive training courses about common infectious diseases during Hajj or the preventive measures that should be applied at entry points. Many of them were willing to attend such courses. They have difficulties in some preventive measures especially among non-physicians, those with less years of experience and those who didn't read the written guidelines, which highlighted the importance of arrangement of training courses before Hajj season.