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PRACTICES TOWARD PREVENTION OF BLOOD-BORNE INFECTIOUS DISEASES AMONG IRAQI BARBERS
Ali Haleem Jasim* and Ziyad Hazim Ibrahim
Introduction: Several public health problems including communicable diseases and skin conditions are associated with barbers’ profession, to which their visitors are exposed, especially blood- borne diseases. So barbers would play a vital role in prevention and control of those health problems. Objectives: To determine the level of practices of Iraqi barbers regarding blood- borne infectious diseases prevention related to their profession. Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on 768 male barbers over 18 years, who have been practicing hair-cutting and shaving for at least 6 months, from 6 selected districts in Baghdad, Iraq. The data were collected by questionnaires and analyzed using SPSS program. Results: The largest age group of barbers (47%) was 20 - 29 years. 60.0% of participants were married. Out of all barbers, only 15.1% were using different types of sterilization methods. The practice of vast majority (96.7%) of the participants located within poor practice level and only 3.3% located within an acceptable level. There is a significant association between the practice score and the following: marital status, barbers' license, working experience, and working hours per day. Conclusion: The practice level among vast majority of Iraqi barbers for preventing blood- borne infectious diseases related to their profession was very low, so it is essential to train the barbers with rigorous protocols about preventive measures that could be important in minimizing the risk of transmission of those diseases.[Full Text Article]