Factors influencing the use of N95 respirator among health care professionals at Nyangabgwe Hospital in Botswana

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Paul Kiprono Chelule
Irene N Kablay


Transmission of communicable respiratory infections within health care settings to healthcare workers has emerged as a major public health problem. The N95 respirator has been reported as the most efficient and effective protective equipment in preventing respiratory infections amongst the healthcare workers in healthcare facilities. Although the use of respiratory protective equipment is vital, there have been reported cases of non-compliance to usage by healthcare workers. Thus, this cross-sectional survey was undertaken with the aim of investigating the factors influencing the use of N95 respirator among healthcare professionals working in medical and acute care wards at Nyangabgwe Hospital in Botswana. A total of 165 participants completed the questionnaires used to collect data for the study. Although the majority of the participants (154 of 165, 93%) were aware of the protective nature of the N95 respirator, less than 60% reported adherence to its recommended use. Moreover, 165 (82%) of them reported personal barriers as well as organizational factors that influenced the usage of N95 respirator.

In conclusion, this study has shown that healthcare personnel acknowledged the importance of N95 respirator as a means of providing protection against occupational transmission of respiratory infections. It was found that some individual and organizational factors are the main barriers to usage adherence. These factors need to be addressed in order to strengthen the usage adherence to N95 respirator and consequently curbing occupational transmission of respiratory infections among the health care workers in Botswana.

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