Survey of the Level of Preparedness and Fears among Staff of the Department of Anaesthesia Regarding the Management of COVID-19 Patients in Zaria-Nigeria

Author(s): Yakubu SY, Idris ME, Yakubu H, Muhammad ST, Yunus AA, Lawal II

Introduction

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection caused by a novel coronavirus first observed in Wuhan China in December 2019. Some developed countries were caught unaware by the pandemic and faced a lack of intensive care unit (ICU) beds. The challenge was dire in Africa due to an inadequate number of health personnel, ICU, and ventilators. This survey was to determine the level of preparedness and fears among anaesthesia staff regarding the management of COVID-19 patients in Zaria.

Materials and Methods

In April 2020 structured questionnaires were sent out by WhatsApp to all anaesthesia staff. Demographic data, professional role, level of preparedness, availability of working materials/equipment, fear of COVID-19, perceived level of stress, stigmatization, and the willingness or otherwise to volunteer in the management of COVID-19 patients were collated. Ethics approval was waived and participants consented. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results

All 45 respondents had no life insurance. Forty-four (97.8%) lacked access to COVID-19 testing while 36 (80%) have not received any training on COVID-19 and the use of personal protective equipment. Twenty-eight of 43 staffs were not prepared to participate in the management of COVID-19 patients.

Conclusions

This survey showed that most staff had no life insurance, lacked access to COVID-19 testing and training. The fear of being infected with COVID-19 was high and two-thirds were not prepared to participate in the management of infected patients. However, only half became stressed up during the period.

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