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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master Thesis
Title Occupational Exposure to Blood in Selected Oral Health Facilities in Botswana: Experiences and Practices of Oral Health Staff
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://mobile.wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/13632/Siphiwo Ndlovu.pdf?sequence=1
Introduction: Sub-Saharan Africa has a high burden of HIV and other blood borne pathogens. Botswana’s estimated prevalence of HIV and HBV are between 17-40%, and 14 % respectively. Ninety percent of the three million health care workers exposed annually to blood borne pathogens through injury are in developing countries. Previous studies in Botswana indicate 24%-26% health workers sustain needle stick and other sharps injuries annually, posing a threat to them. Dentistry requires work with sharp objects in a confined space; thus oral health workers (OHWs) are at high risk of infection from occupational blood exposures (OBEs). Universal (Standard) Precautions were first recommended by the Center for Disease Control in the United States of America and were adopted in several countries, including Botswana, to minimize the risk of exposure to, and infection from, blood. However, studies in different health care settings, mainly in developed countries, have shown that these guidelines are not always adhered to. Few studies have been done to evaluate their utilization in developing countries.

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