Background: Coronaviruses infections are emerging respiratory viruses and known to cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome. The most important ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases are frequent hand washing with soap, water and also applying alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Objective: To assess the utilization pattern and counseling practices of alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bench-Sheko zone, Southwest Ethiopia from April28 to June 05, 2020.
Method: Community-based cross-sectional study was conducted. Data related to utilization of alcohol-based hand sanitizer were collected from the selected household using the multistage sampling technique, whereas data related to counseling practices were collected from pharmacy personnel who have been working in the drug retail outlets found in the study setting. Data were entered into Epi data version 4.0.2 and then exported to statistical software package version 24.0 for data analysis. To identify the significant predictors of alcohol-based hand sanitizer utilization practice, binary and multivariable logistic regressions were carried out.
Result: From a total of 806 sampled populations, (80.7%) of them had hand washing material for the prevention of COVID-19. Out of 784 study participants, 226(28.8%) of them utilized alcohol-based hand sanitizer, whereas three fourth of them were non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer utilizer.Low income status (AOR=2.71, CI; 1.18-6.19), single marital status (AOR=15.47, CI; 1.96-12.19), Lack of formal education (AOR=11.67, CI; 4.97-9.10), farmer (AOR=2.31, CI; 2.12-3.45) were significantly associated with non-utilization of alcohol-based hand sanitizer for the prevention COVID-19.
Conclusion and recommendations: The utilization of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the study area was low. About one-third of pharmacy personnel did not counsel their client during dispensing of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Therefore, the training should be provided on rational use and dispensing of ABHS for the community and pharmacy personnel respectively.
KeywordS: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer, Counseling practice, Utilization pattern, Ethiopia