Preparedness of Healthcare Workers towards Handling COVID-19 Outbreak in the Gambia

Joseph W Jatta, Jean Claude Romaric Pingdwindé Ouédraogo, Yusupha Sanyang, Daniel Nebongo, Tahir Ahmed Touray, Dodou Sanyang


Background: The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that began in Wuhan, China rapidly became a public health concern and a challenge for healthcare systems globally.  In the wake of the first confirmed case in The Gambia, concerns were raised in some quarters about the health system's preparedness to handle the outbreak. Therefore, we aimed to assess health personnel's knowledge and preparedness in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in The Gambia. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using self-administered questionnaires distributed online through social media. Descriptive, bivariate, and binary logistic analyses were done using SPSS Version 22. Results: We obtained 333 valid responses. Most participants reported that their health facility has some form of preparedness; however, only a small proportion reported enough PPEs in the health facility. About half (50.5%) showed good knowledge of COVID-19. There was a statistically significant difference among the professions regarding their reaction if they were found positive of COVID-19 (p=0.006). There was a significant association between health professions [other professions (Odds ratio [OR]=0.2, 95% Confidence interval [CI]:0.04–0 .9; p=0.038)] and overall knowledge of COVID-19. Conclusion: Our findings showed some form of preparedness towards COVID-19 among healthcare workers. However, many aspects, such as the availability of PPEs and their proper use and knowledge, need improvement. Thus, training and an adequate supply of equipment are required to better respond to upcoming COVID-19 waves and future outbreaks.


Doi: 10.28991/SciMedJ-2021-03-SI-5

Full Text: PDF


COVID-19; Preparedness; Knowledge; Healthcare Workers; The Gambia.


Hui, D. S. (2017). Epidemic and Emerging Coronaviruses (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). Clinics in Chest Medicine, 38(1), 71–86. doi:10.1016/j.ccm.2016.11.007.

Shoman, H., Karafillakis, E., & Rawaf, S. (2017). The link between the West African Ebola outbreak and health systems in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone: A systematic review. Globalization and Health, 13(1), 1. doi:10.1186/s12992-016-0224-2.

Annan, A. A., Yar, D. D., Owusu, M., Biney, E. A., Forson, P. K., Okyere, P. B., Gyimah, A. A., & Owusu-Dabo, E. (2017). Health care workers indicate ill preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Ashanti Region of Ghana. BMC Public Health, 17(1), 546. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4474-6.

Song, F., Shi, N., Chan, F., Zhang, Z., Shen, J., Lu, H., Ling, Y., Jiang, Y., & Shi, Y. (2020). Emerging 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Pneumonia. Radiology, 295(1), 210–217. doi:10.1148/radiol.2020200274.

Xie, M., & Chen, Q. (2020). Insight into 2019 novel coronavirus—An updated intrim review and lessons from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.071.

Afulani, P. A., Gyamerah, A. O., Aborigo, R., Nutor, J. J., Malechi, H., Laar, A., Sterling, M., & Awoonor-Williams, J. K. (2020). Perceived preparedness to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: A study with healthcare workers in Ghana. Journal of Global Health Science, 2(2), 24. doi:10.35500/jghs.2020.2.e24.

Abebe, A., Mekuria, A., & Balchut, A. (2020, August 24).

Awareness of Health Professionals on COVID-19 and Factors Affecting It Before and During Index Case in North Shoa Zone, Ethiopia, 2020

. Infection and Drug Resistance; Dove Press. doi:10.2147/IDR.S268033.

Roupa, Z., Polychronis, G., Latzourakis, E., Nikitara, M., Ghobrial, S., Chrysafi, A., & Noula, M. (2020). Assessment of Knowledge and Perceptions of Health Workers Regarding COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study from Cyprus. Journal of Community Health. doi:10.1007/s10900-020-00949-y.

Bandyopadhyay, S., Baticulon, R. E., Kadhum, M., Alser, M., Ojuka, D. K., Badereddin, Y., … Iharchane, S. (2020). Infection and mortality of healthcare workers worldwide from COVID-19: a systematic review. BMJ Global Health, 5(12), e003097. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-003097.

Nguyen, L. H., Drew, D. A., Graham, M. S., Joshi, A. D., Guo, C.-G., Ma, W., Mehta, R. S., Warner, E. T., Sikavi, D. R., Lo, C.-H., Kwon, S., Song, M., Mucci, L. A., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Eliassen, A. H., Hart, J. E., Chavarro, J. E., Rich-Edwards, J. W., … Zhang, F. (2020). Risk of COVID-19 among frontline healthcare workers and the general community: A prospective cohort study. The Lancet Public Health, 5(9), e475–e483. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30164-X.

Elhadi, M., Msherghi, A., Alkeelani, M., Zorgani, A., Zaid, A., Alsuyihili, A., Buzreg, A., Ahmed, H., Elhadi, A., Khaled, A., Boughididah, T., Khel, S., Abdelkabir, M., Gaffaz, R., Bahroun, S., Alhashimi, A., Biala, M., Abulmida, S., Elharb, A., … Amshai, A. (2020). Assessment of Healthcare Workers' Levels of Preparedness and Awareness Regarding COVID-19 Infection in Low-Resource Settings. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103(2), 828–833. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.20-0330.

Rodriguez-Morales, A. J., Cardona-Ospina, J. A., Gutiérrez-Ocampo, E., Villamizar-Peña, R., Holguin-Rivera, Y., Escalera-Antezana, J. P., Alvarado-Arnez, L. E., Bonilla-Aldana, D. K., Franco-Paredes, C., Henao-Martinez, A. F., Paniz-Mondolfi, A., Lagos-Grisales, G. J., Ramírez-Vallejo, E., Suárez, J. A., Zambrano, L. I., Villamil-Gómez, W. E., Balbin-Ramon, G. J., Rabaan, A. A., Harapan, H., … Sah, R. (2020). Clinical, laboratory and imaging features of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 34, 101623. doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101623.

Lechien, J. R., Chiesa-Estomba, C. M., Place, S., Van Laethem, Y., Cabaraux, P., Mat, Q., Huet, K., Plzak, J., Horoi, M., Hans, S., Rosaria Barillari, M., Cammaroto, G., Fakhry, N., Martiny, D., Ayad, T., Jouffe, L., Hopkins, C., Saussez, S., & COVID-19 Task Force of YO-IFOS. (2020). Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of 1420 European patients with mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease 2019. Journal of Internal Medicine, 288(3), 335–344. doi:10.1111/joim.13089.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/SciMedJ-2021-03-SI-5


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Joseph W Jatta