Register for citation alerts

We conducted a cross-sectional study assessing BPE among HCW at three public hospitals in Tanzania” Lahuerta et al (2016).


Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, blood-borne pathogens exposure (BPE) is a serious risk to healthcare workers (HCW).

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study assessing BPE among HCW at three public hospitals in Tanzania. From August to November 2012, HCW were surveyed using Audio-Computer Assisted Self-Interview. All HCW at risk for BPE were invited to participate. Factors associated with reporting BPE were identified using logistic regression.

Findings: Of the 1102 eligible HCW, 973 (88%) completed the survey. Of these, 690 (71%) were women and 499 (52%) were nurses and nurse assistants. Of the 357 HCW who had a BPE (32%) in the previous 6 months, 120 (34%) reported it. Among these 120 reported exposures, 93 (78%) HCWs reported within 2 h of exposure, 98 (82%) received pre- and post-HIV test counselling, and 70 (58%) were offered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Independent factors associated with reporting BPE were being female (adjusted odds ratio , 2.0; 95% confidence interval , 1.2–3.5), having ever-received BPE training (AOR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2–3.5), knowledge that HCW receive PEP at another facility (AOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.5–4.4), low/no perceived risk related to BPE (AOR, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.9–9.4) and HIV testing within the past year (AOR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2–4.4).

Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of appropriate training on the prevention and reporting of occupational exposure to increase acceptance of HIV testing and improve access to PEP after BPE.


Lahuerta, M., Selenic, D., Kassa, G., Mwakitosha, G., Hokororo, J., Ngonyani, H., Basavaraju, S.V., Courtenay-Quirk, C., Liu, Y., Kazaura, K., Simbeye, D. and Bock, N. (2016) Reporting and case management of occupational exposures to blood-borne pathogens among healthcare workers in three healthcare facilities in Tanzania. Journal of Infection Prevention. 17(4), p.153-160.

doi: 10.1177/1757177416645343.

Thank you to our partners for supporting IVTEAM