BACTERIAL RESERVOIRS IN A HEALTH CARE ENVIRONMENT: CASE OF THE DOUALA GENERAL HOSPITAL, CAMEROON

Henry Namme Luma, Marie-Solange Doualla, Cécile Okalla Ebongue, Elvis Temfack, Marguerite Wouafo, Eugene Belley-Priso

Abstract


Background

Health care acquired infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitals. There is very little documentation of this important problem in our resource limited setting. The aim of our study was to identify bacterial reservoirs and microorganisms with the potential of nosocomial infections in our health care environment

Methods

Bacteriological samples from the air, surfaces, equipment, personnel and patients from six units of the Douala General Hospital, Cameroon were collected for culture according to standardised collection, culture and germs identification techniques. 

Results

From our study, 73% of all collected samples were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. These included 83.3% of fomites, 37.5% of air samples and 100% of hands of health care workers. Pathogenic Staphylococci, gram negative bacilli (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and Enterococci were found in 64.7%, 54.1% and 48.7% of specimens respectively. The same bacteria found on the hands of nursing personnel were same as on both surfaces and equipment. The intensive care and neonatal units were the most contaminated with 100% positive cultures. The sterilization unit was bacteria free.

Conclusions

Our health care environment is heavily contaminated and the hands of healthcare workers appear to be the main transmission agent of these bacteria.  Guidelines on infection control practices such as hand washing and periodic decontamination must be effectively put in place and continuously evaluated.

Keywords

Health care environment; Microorganisms; reservoir.


Keywords


Health care environment; Microorganisms; reservoir

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