Disaster Preparedness Among Members of Staff at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi County, Kenya
Over the world, hospitals have suffered severe damage as a result of natural and anthropogenic disasters leading to the partial or total collapse of the structures and interruption of the health services urgently needed by the victims of the event. During the disaster strike, hospitals are confronted with a large number of casualties exceeding their capacity to cope. Despite the situation, many governments have paid less attention to disaster preparedness in health facilities. Hospitals from various parts of the world possess limited capital and staff time to spend on conducting comprehensive disaster response drills, emergency planning and preparedness. The main objective of this study was to find out whether members of staff at Kenyatta National Hospital are prepared for disasters. The study also looked into structures that the Kenyatta National Hospital has put in place to mitigate for disaster. This was a cross sectional descriptive study. Data collected in this study was both quantitative and qualitative. Data was collected using self -administered questionnaire containing both closed and open ended questions. The study involved 361 respondents sampled from 4646 being the total population of members of staff at Kenyatta National Hospital. The respondents were stratified according to departments of the hospital and then randomly selected based on the required sample size. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.2 and Microsoft office excel. The study established that terrorist attack is the leading potential threat followed by fire. Most members of staff of KNH were aware of the existence of a disaster management committee and the existence of a disaster plan in the hospital. Majority of the respondents felt that firefighting equipments and evacuation plans are inadequate. The results have been presented in tables and charts. Chi square was used to determine association and difference between responses. Terrorist attack and fire were identified as the main potential threats with 84% and 81% of the respondent identifying them as potential disasters respectively. The study found out that 58% of the respondents had no training on disaster management. Majority of the respondents indicated that there was no adequate infrastructure to manage disaster with 62.3 % indicating there was inadequate fire fighting equipments. The findings showed a significant association between age and disaster preparedness (Χ2=13.202, df=9, p=0.002); training on disaster management and disaster preparedness (Χ2 =34.738, df=3, p=0.001); years of experience and disaster preparedness (Χ2=13.202, df=12, p=0.007); level of awareness and disaster preparedness (Χ2=8.477, df=1, p=0.004). The study will assist KNH and other health facilities in formulating policies on disaster preparedness. The study recommends that Kenyatta national Hospital improves on the training of staff on disaster management in order to respond to emergencies effectively and efficiently.