SA healthcare workers facing major gaps in workplace protection

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A large-scale survey of SA healthcare workers has revealed major gaps in workplace protection against tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis, reports [s]News-Medical[/s]. [b]University of British Columbia health researcher Dr Annalee Yassi[/b] says issues such as confidentiality, stigma, technological capacity and staff training need to be addressed while improving hospital resources and protocols. The report says preliminary results of the 2012 baseline survey of more than 1,000 healthcare workers in three hospitals show that more than 68% of patient care staff had never been screened for TB; nearly 20% were not vaccinated against hepatitis; and 55% did not wear respiratory protection when needed. Yassi, who is helping SA implement occupational health guidelines developed by the [b]World Health Organisation[/b], says healthcare workers in developing countries face greater health challenges while serving significantly more patients.
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