ATTITUDE OF HEALTH WORKERS TOWARDS PATIENTS: AN AFTERMATH OF EBOLA OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA
AbstractAttitude is a mental and emotional construct that characterizes people. It is formed from a people’s past and present experiences and is instrumental to how people think and behave. This study investigates the attitude of health workers towards patients in some tertiary hospitals in Southwest Nigeria as a result of the aftermath of the last outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Nigeria. 600 consenting participants selected through a two-stage sampling method were involved in the study. Data was retrieved through administration of structured questionnaire designed in five-point Likert-scale format. About two third of the participants (32.3%) involved in the study were nurses while (22.0%) were doctors. (34.7%) of the participants disagreed that health workers suspect patients have Ebola virus disease at first contact with them while (48.0%) agreed that heath workers are afraid when they have contact with patients. In addition, (36.7%) of the participants in the study disagreed that health workers do not move close to patients when examining patients who are febrile while (39.3%) disagreed that health workers are irrational and harsh to patients. In all, the study showed that, (52.7%) of the participants in the study have positive attitude towards patients. This is without prejudice to previous experience of health workers being infected with the deadly disease from patients during the last outbreak in 2014. The study recommended dissemination of adequate information on Ebola virus disease among health workers to forestall future infection of Ebola virus disease from patients. Massive attitudinal change towards patients among health workers in the study population is also strongly recommended.