Occupational Health and Safety of Healthcare Workers 2018


To protect all health care workers from blood borne pathogens Particularly Hepatitis B, in the Gambia.


This National Occupational Health and Safety Policy for Health Care Workers provide a minimum for safeguarding health care workers and the environment through efficient management of the three priority areas namely: 1. Blood Borne Pathogen; 2. Air Borne diseases; and 3. Health care waste management

  •  The National OHS policy for Health Care Workers is developed primarily to address blood borne pathogen especially Hepatitis B infection, which is endemic in the Gambia; with 15-20% are chronic carriers. In the Gambia, health care workers are not vaccinated against HBV, and there is no pre-employment screening. There is also limited data on the prevalence HBV among Health Care Workers. The prevalence of Hepatitis B infection among the vaccinated persons is less than 1%. This low prevalence is attributed to high coverage of routine HepB vaccination by the Expanded Program on Immunization
  •  An airborne disease such as TB remains a serious health problem in many countries in which the Gambia is no exception. The Prevalence of TB in the Gambia rose from 350/100000-1990 to 455/100000-2011 whilst Incidence is 258/100000-1990 to 279/100000-2011. (WHO, 2014) However, there is no existing record for TB on health care workers in The Gambia.
  • Health care waste management (HCWM) is considered as one of the essential components of good infection prevention practices. In the Gambia, the total waste stream from a healthcare facility (HCF) includes sharps, non-sharps, blood, body parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials. Poor management of this HCW exposes healthcare workers, waste handlers and the community to infections, diseases or injury