Occupational health hazards among mortuary attendants at ndola teaching and arthur davison children’s hospitals
Keywords:Hazard, mortuary attendant, mortuary, Ndola Teaching Hospital (NTH), Arthur Davison Children’shospital (ADCH)
Background: Just like employees from other occupations, Mortuary attendants are exposed to various hazards that may put their health at risk as they perform their duties. Objectives: The study was aimed at identifying occupational health hazards that mortuary attendants face at Ndola Teaching and Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital mortuaries and to establish the infection control mechanisms in place. Methods: A descriptive crosssectional study was done among all (12) mortuary attendants at the two facilities. Data was collected through questionnaire interviews and by observation. Then entered and analysed using descriptive statistics by SPSS Statistics version 20 software, and presented using tables and graphs. Ethical approval was obtained from the Tropical Disease Research Centre at Ndola Teaching Hospital. Results: 100% experienced frequent exposure to solvents, detergents and fixatives, 54.5% of which was frequent formalin exposure. 18.2% and 27.3% frequently experienced needle pricks and contact with cadaver fluids respectively. 36% had contact with verminous/infectious bodies once.100%, affirmed the existence of some form of control mechanisms but confirmed not receiving any vaccination, 45.5% said Personal Protective Equipment was only provided sometimes and they were forced to work even without PPE, 100% reported absence of Standard Operating Procedures and Manuals but indicated presence of reporting mechanisms in case of hazard exposure. Conclusions: Occupational health hazards are common in public mortuaries in Ndola and experiencing these hazards impacts on the worker’s health and well-being, affecting their work performance and quality of services offered. The findings of this project will hopefully help develop plans to promote health and safety.
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