Bio-security preperedness capacity in response to medical disaster at Garissa level five hospital in Garissa county, Kenya
Jimale, Hassan Adan
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Biosecurity is an emerging global security threat in the 21st century affecting public health and natural security in equal measures. In addition to outbreaks of Rift Valley and Haemorrhagic Fevers, Influenza Virus, Ebola, and the current Corona Virus Disease pandemic, advances in life sciences and globalization have expanded Kenya's vulnerability to biosecurity threats, including threats posed by novel and manipulate pathogens with pandemic potential. This study assessed the biosecurity preparedness capacity in response to medical disasters at Garissa Level Five Referral Hospital in Garissa County, Kenya. The specific objectives were to examine the effectiveness of the existing biosecurity regulatory framework, assess the level of preparedness and response capacity to biosecurity threat/disasters as well as evaluate ways of enhancing mitigation measures. The study was guided by the protection motivation theory and routine activity theory. It adopted a descriptive survey design with a target population of 202 divided into five strata stratified randomly to include medical officers, clinical officers, nurses, laboratory staff and hospital administrators from the Level Five Hospital. Simple random sampling was thereafter used for each stratum to select a sample of 139 respondents. A questionnaire was the main tool for data collection and Key Informants (KI) were purposively sampled and interviewed using an interview schedule guide to corroborate the findings from the questionnaire. Additionally, an observation checklist was administered to ascertain the parameters for medical disaster preparedness. After data collection and review for completeness, a total of 133 questionnaires were finally utilized in the analysis. Quantitative data was analyzed using percentages and frequencies while qualitative data analyzed using thematic analysis. From the study findings, there were biosecurity laws in Kenya including the Public Health Act, Biosafety and Biosecurity guidelines, Biosafety Act 2009, Biosafety Regulations 2011 and Health Amendment Act 2019. Most respondents (88%) were aware of biosecurity risks but not trained (62.4%) on biosecurity threats. Information about biosecurity risks was majorly obtained from reading (51.9%), social media (29.3%), policy statements from the Ministry (21.8%) and television or radio (18%). There were challenges faced in responding to biosecurity threats including lack of protective gear (55.6%), lack of policy guidelines (48.1%), lack of training (53.4%), lack of skills and knowledge (33.8%) and lack of drugs (7.5%). In conclusion, the level of preparedness for biosecurity threats among county hospitals is low. Since there are limited biosecurity frameworks in Kenya and the existing ones have not been implemented effectively to achieve the intended objectives, the study recommends biosecurity guidelines to be digitalized and made available to all health facilities. Also, there is a need for the introduction of hospital biosecurity monitoring and leakage detection systems. The study is beneficial to researchers and scholars in biosecurity preparedness studies, policymakers within the government, Garissa Level Five Hospital staff and the medical health care industry.
Africa Nazarene University