Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Background: Globally, it is known that heath care workers particularly in critical care settings are at higher risk of occupational exposure to infections. Surveillance systems to monitor body fluid exposure have been established in developed world. However, such systems are not available and consequently, exposure to body fluids is rarely reported, documented and monitored in many African countries.

Objectives: To assess knowledge, practice and factors influencing adherence of Universal Precautions of infection prevention among nurses at Muhimbili national hospital and Muhimbili orthopaedic institute Dar es salaam Tanzania.

Design: Quantitative cross-sectional and observational study. SPSS was used for data analysis. Chi-square test and student t-test were used for analysis of categorical and continuous variables respectively and regression analysis were done to determine any significance.

Participants: 144 nurses in intensive care units, emergency rooms and recovery rooms were assessed using a structured self-administered questionnaire and an observational checklist to 42 of 144.

Findings: 38% of nurses had good knowledge of universal precautions. 85% reported to always wash hands, however, 34.3% of participants were observed to wash hands before putting on gloves. 94.4% reported to always use gloves, 67.4% reported to always wear a gown and 55.6% reported that they always wear a mask. Regarding sharps management 93.8% reported good practice and 95.2% demonstrated good sharps management practice. Sex and level of education of an individual significantly influenced the hand hygiene practice, working station and perceived severity significantly influenced the practice of wearing protective gear. Training on infection prevention and control significantly influenced sharps handling (All p<0.05).

Discussion: Adherence of universal precautions were sub optimal. Reported and observed practice were incompatible as in other studies except in the practice of sharps management which observed results outweighed the reported results.

Conclusion: Adherence to universal precaution is variably poor. Surveillance systems to monitor exposures to body fluids is require


Saudi Journal of Nursing and Health Care

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.