Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Awareness of occupational risks and practices among funeral industry workers in Sri Lanka

Download

A- A+
dyslexia friendly

Research Articles

Awareness of occupational risks and practices among funeral industry workers in Sri Lanka

Authors:

A. I. Abeykoon,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
X close

C. P. Gunasekara ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
X close

M. W. Weerasekera,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
X close

N. Fernando

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
X close

Abstract

Background:
Funeral industry workers are at occupational risk of exposure to numerous infections. The study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices on infection control and investigate the presence of HIV antibodies among funeral industry workers in Western Province of Sri Lanka.


Methods:
Seventy funeral industry workers who had dealt with at least a single cadaver were included in the study. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data on aspects of infection control relevant to cadaver handling. The knowledge was assessed using 44 questions while attitudes and practices were assessed using 13 and 25 questions respectively. An average correct score of ≥75% was considered as good, 74%-50% as moderate and <50% as poor. HIV antibodies were investigated using a rapid immunochromatographic assay.


Results:
The participants had an overall moderate knowledge (52%), poor attitudes (42%) and moderate practices (53%) regarding infection control. Only 53% and 23% knew that HIV and HBV infection can be transmitted through cadavers. Further 51% had the attitude that cadavers carry a risk of infection. None had good attitudes on compulsory use of all protective equipment. However 84% claimed to use gloves during embalming. Vaccination for hepatitis B and tetanus was reported in 10%. None had received formal training in cadaver handling. No participants were positive for antibody against HIV.


Conclusions:
The funeral industry workers had moderate knowledge (52%), moderate practices (53%) and poor attitudes (42%). Implementation of formal training programs and guidelines on embalming practices is needed.

How to Cite: Abeykoon, A.I. et al., (2017). Awareness of occupational risks and practices among funeral industry workers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases. 7(1), pp.28–37. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v7i1.8127
Published on 04 May 2017.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus