Original Research

Knowledge, attitude and practices of COVID-19 among medical laboratory professionals in Zambia

Adon Chawe, Ruth L. Mfune, Paul M. Syapiila, Sharon D. Zimba, Pipina A. Vlahakis, Samson Mwale, Kapambwe Mwape, Memory Chirambo-Kalolekesha, Misheck Chileshe, Joseph Mutale, Tobela Mudenda, Grace Manda, Victor Daka
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1403 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v10i1.1403 | © 2021 Adon Chawe, Ruth Lindizyani Mfune, Paul Siyapila, Sharon Duba Zimba, Pipina A Vlahakis, Samson Mwale, Kapambwe Mwape, Memory Kalolekesha, Misheck Chileshe, Joseph Mutale, Tobela Mudenda, Grace Manda, Victor Daka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2020 | Published: 04 March 2021

About the author(s)

Adon Chawe, aboratory Department, St. Francis Mission Hospital, Katete, Zambia
Ruth L. Mfune, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Paul M. Syapiila, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Sharon D. Zimba, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Chikankata College of Biomedical Sciences, Chikankata, Zambia
Pipina A. Vlahakis, Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Samson Mwale, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tropical Diseases Research Centre, Ndola, Zambia
Kapambwe Mwape, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Memory Chirambo-Kalolekesha, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Misheck Chileshe, Laboratory Department, Mary Begg Health Services, Ndola, Zambia
Joseph Mutale, Laboratory Department, Kabompo District Hospital, Kabompo, Zambia
Tobela Mudenda, Department of Pathology, Ndola Teaching Hospital, Ndola, Zambia
Grace Manda, Laboratory Department, Kalomo District Hospital, Kalomo, Zambia
Victor Daka, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Michael Chilufya School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia


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Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel disease that has spread to nearly every country worldwide. Medical laboratory professionals are key in the fight against COVID-19 as they provide confirmatory diagnosis for subsequent management and mitigation of the disease.

Objective: This study investigated the knowledge, attitude and practices of COVID-19 and their predictors among medical laboratory personnel in Zambia.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among medical laboratory professionals in Zambia from 10 to 29 June 2020. Data were collected using Google Forms and exported to Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23 for statistical analysis. Independent predictors of COVID-19 knowledge and practices were determined. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.

Results: A total of 208 medical laboratory professionals, 58.2% male, participated in the study. The majority of respondents had good knowledge (84.1%) and practice (75.0%) regarding COVID-19. Predictors of good knowledge included having a bachelor’s degree (AOR: 5.0, CI: 1.13–22.19) and having prior COVID-19 related training (AOR: 8.83, CI: 2.03–38.44). Predictors of good practice included having a master’s or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualification (AOR: 5.23, CI: 1.15–23.87) and having prior COVID-19 related training (AOR: 14.01, CI: 6.47–30.36).

Conclusion: Our findings revealed that medical laboratory professionals in Zambia have good knowledge regarding COVID-19. There is need for continuous professional development to ensure that medical laboratory professionals are well informed and aware of best practices to aid in curbing the pandemic.


Keywords

COVID-19; medical laboratory professional; knowledge; attitude; practices

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