Awareness of healthcare workers regarding preventive measures of communicable diseases among Hajj pilgrims at the entry point in Western Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Med J 2011 Nov;32(11):1161-7

Field Epidemiology Training Program, Ministry of Health, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Objective: To determine the level of knowledge of healthcare workers (HCWs) towards preventive measures for communicable diseases among pilgrims, and to highlight the difficulties faced by HCWs in implementing preventive measures at entry point.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at King Abdulaziz International Airport Hajj Terminals in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during Hajj season from October to November 2009 including 325 healthcare workers (HCWs). Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Difficulties reported by HCWs were refusal of vaccine, or chemoprophylaxis by some pilgrims, language barriers, and difficulties in organizing pilgrims. The different items related to meningococcal meningitis were answered correctly by most HCWs except for preventive measures applied to infants and children. Less than one half were aware of the period of validity for Yellow Fever vaccine certificate and measures to be taken for unvaccinated pilgrims. Only 32.9% were aware of preventive measures that should be applied against influenza A (H1N1). Physicians, those reading guidelines, and those with high experience a showed significantly better level of knowledge than other categories.

Conclusion: The HCWs have difficulties in some preventive measures, especially among non-physicians, those with less years of experience, and those who did not read the written guidelines, which highlighted the importance of training courses before Hajj season.

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Source
November 2011

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