Analysis of Occupational Infections among Health Care Workers in Limpopo Province of South Africa

Ntambwe Malangu, Adelaide Legothoane


Objective: Occupational infections particularly hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a serious problem in the healthcare industry worldwide. This study purported to investigate their prevalence and risk factors among healthcare workers from Limpopo province of South Africa. Methods: Cases about occupational infectious diseases of healthcare workers from Limpopo province that were submitted to the Compensation Commissioner from January 2006 to December 2009 were reviewed. Results: The total number of cases of infectious diseases reported during the study period was 56; of these, 83.9% (47) of cases were for tuberculosis, 10.7% (6) for cholera, and 5.4% (3) for chickenpox. Nurses were the most affected. Risk factors associated with the acquisition of infection diseases were as follows. The majority of those infected were female (67.9%), aged over 40 years (57.1%), and who had worked for over 10 years (59.2%). With regard to length of time it took for one to be infected, overall it took 13.6±9.7 years from the year of employment to being infected. This duration was just 5.7±4.2 years in HCWs younger than 40 years versus 18.4±9.0 years in those 40 years and over (p=0.001); and 11.4±10.3 years in nurses versus 17.1±7.8 years in non-professional staff members (p=0.046). Mopani district, situated in a rural setting was the most affected as 24 of the 47 cases of tuberculosis occurred there. Conclusion: In conclusion, the most common occupational infection or hospital acquired infection among healthcare workers in Limpopo province of South Africa was tuberculosis. It infected mainly nurses from the rural health district of Mopani. Younger age and being a nurse were significant risk factors associated with being infected early.

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Copyright (c) 2012 Ntambwe Malangu, Adelaide Legothoane

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Global Journal of Health Science   ISSN 1916-9736(Print)   ISSN 1916-9744(Online)


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