Capacity development and safety measures for health care workers exposed to COVID-19 in Bangladesh


Background: The safety of health care workers (HCWs) in Bangladesh and the factors associated with getting COVID-19 have been infrequently studied. The aim of this study was to address this gap by assessing the capacity development and safety measures of HCWs in Bangladesh who have been exposed to COVID-19 and by identifying the factors associated with respondents’ self-reported participation in capacity development trainings and their safety practices.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on an online survey of 811 HCWs working at 39 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Bangladesh. A pretested structured questionnaire consisting of questions related to respondents’ characteristics, capacity development trainings and safety measures was administered. Binary logistic regressions were run to assess the association between explanatory and dependent variables.

Results: Among the respondents, 58.1% had been engaged for at least 2 months in COVID-19 care, with 56.5% of them attending capacity development training on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), 44.1% attending training on hand hygiene, and 35% attending training on respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Only 18.1% reported having read COVID-19-related guidelines. Approximately 50% of the respondents claimed that there was an inadequate supply of PPE for hospitals and HCWs. Almost 60% of the respondents feared a high possibility of becoming COVID-19-positive. Compared to physicians, support staff [odds ratio (OR) 4.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.25-8.51] and medical technologists (OR 8.77, 95% CI 3.14-24.47) were more exhausted from working in COVID-19 care. Respondents with longer duty rosters were more exhausted, and those who were still receiving infection prevention and control (IPC) trainings were less exhausted (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.34-0.86). Those who read COVID-19 guidelines perceived a lower risk of being infected by COVID-19 (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.29-0.67). Compared to the respondents who strongly agreed that hospitals had a sufficient supply of PPE, others who disagreed (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.31-5.51) and strongly disagreed (OR 5.05, 95% CI 2.15-11.89) had a higher apprehension of infection by COVID-19.

Conclusion: The findings indicated a need for necessary support, including continuous training, a reasonable duty roster, timely diagnosis of patients, and an adequate supply of quality PPE.

Authors: Tapan Kumar Nath, Alak Paul, Dwaipayan Sikdar, Janardan Mahanta, Sujat Paul, Md Robed Amin, Shahanara Chowdhury, Md Nur Hossain Bhuiyan, Md Abdur Rob, Abdur Rahim, Md Khairul Islam, Md Mohiuddin Sharif, Kannan Navaneetham
; Full Source: BMC health services research 2021 Oct 11;21(1):1079. doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-07071-2.