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Identifying infection prevention and control gaps in healthcare facilities operating in Rivers state during the EVD outbreak in Nigeria 2014


The rate of infection of health care workers in the recent Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, including Nigeria has shown that the disease can be transmitted and amplified in healthcare settings especially when infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures are ineffective or ignored.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of infection control measures operating in health facilities in Rivers state as at the time of the Nigerian 2014 EVD outbreak.


The descriptive cross sectional study was done in Rivers state one of the two states that experienced the EVD outbreak in Nigeria. Information on IPC materials and practices in health facilities in the state was collected using the Infection Control Assessment Tool (ICAT) between September 4th and 11th 2014. Each response was scored between 0-3. An overall score of ≥75% was graded as good while <75% was poor. Data was analysed with SPSS Version 20. Ethical statement; this study was conducted during the outbreak of EVD in Nigeria as part of response activities by the members of the Ebola Emergency Operation Center.


Two tertiary, twenty four public secondary and sixty six private secondary health facilities were studied. Only one of the tertiary healthcare facilities had an IPC committee in place with a focal officer in charge. Only one hospital had an IPC policy which was not operational. None of the health facilities had a good score for both IPC materials availability and practice.


Gaps existed in IPC in health facilities in Rivers State, Nigeria at the outbreak of EVD. It is recommended that appropriate policy for maintaining and sustaining infrastructure and supplies essential to IPC in health facilities be developed and implemented in all health facilities. Regular surveillance should be put in place to ensure that these items are always available, while hospital administrators and departmental heads must provide the necessary resources to facilitate compliance.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Okwor, T., Tobin-West, C., Oduyebo, O. et al. Identifying infection prevention and control gaps in healthcare facilities operating in Rivers state during the EVD outbreak in Nigeria 2014. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 4 (Suppl 1), O11 (2015).

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