Original Research

Preparedness level of frontline healthcare professionals in Tshwane regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

Tombo Bongongo, Indiran Govender, Doudou K. Nzaumvila, Olga M. Maphasha
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 1| a5341 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5341 | © 2022 Tombo Bongongo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 June 2021 | Published: 24 January 2022

About the author(s)

Tombo Bongongo, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Indiran Govender, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Doudou K. Nzaumvila, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Olga M. Maphasha, Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Facing the highly transmissible viral infection referred to as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that threatens human life, South African frontline healthcare professionals have faced a major challenge. Being one of the African countries with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases, this study aimed to assess the preparedness levels of emergency doctors, nurses and clinical associates in the Tshwane district of South Africa regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey using a developed and piloted online questionnaire. It was conducted in the casualty departments (emergency medical units) of seven hospitals in the Tshwane district of South Africa. Only emergency doctors, nurses and clinical associates took part.

Results: Of the 87 respondents, the mean age was 33.9 years and the minimum and maximum ages were 22 and 62 years, respectively; 37 (42.5%) were aged 26–30 years, 54 (62.1%) were females, 46 (52.9%) were single persons, 35 (40.2%) were medical officers, 42 (48.3%) were healthcare professionals with 0–5 years of experience and 21 (24.1%) were from a provincial tertiary hospital. Of the healthcare professionals, 63 (72.4%) were assessed as being prepared regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: The current online survey demonstrated a good preparedness level regarding the COVID-19 pandemic management amongst frontline healthcare professionals working in seven hospitals of the Tshwane district. An educational training programme on disaster management or the COVID-19 pandemic should be implemented to ensure that all frontline healthcare professionals are adequately prepared for current and future outbreaks.

 


Keywords

preparedness level; frontline healthcare professionals; Tshwane; coronavirus 2019 pandemic

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