Assessment of infection control in public dental clinics in Khartoum State, Sudan
Idris, Modather Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh
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The unique nature of dental procedures, instrumentation and patient care settings require specific strategies directed at the prevention of transmission of diseases among oral health care workers and their patients. Aim: The aim of the present study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of infection control among dentists and dental auxiliaries in public dental clinics in Khartoum State, Sudan. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a structured administered questionnaire was carried out. The questionnaire consisted of 38 closed-ended questions that included the key areas of infection control including hand hygiene, personal protection, sterilization and disinfection and environmental infection control. There were also questions to elicit perceptions regarding the treatment of HBV and HIV/AIDS patients. Results: All except one (n=125) of the oral health personnel in Khartoum State participated in the study. 68 dentists and 57 dental assistants were interviewed. The majority were female (60.8%) and 31-40 year olds the predominant age group (44%) for both genders. Hand washing before and after treating each patient was reported by 89.6%. Among dentists, 84.8% reported that they take the medical history of every patient. A quarter of the dentists and 36.8% of dental assistants reported using both hands to recap the used needles. 84%were vaccinated against hepatitis B. With regard to personal protection, the highest adherence was reported for glove use (99.2%), and the least for eye protection (45.6%). None of the study participants used plastic barriers to cover the clinical contact surfaces, 61.6% did not high vacuum suction and 97.6% did not use the rubber dam. All respondents used autoclaves for sterilization, but only 7.2%sterilized hand pieces. 72.8%reported that they did not mind treating HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B patients; however, dental assistants were more willing to treat them than the dentists.