Retrospective study of COVID-19 outcomes among healthcare workers in Rivers State, Nigeria

Publication Name

BMJ Open


Objective To determine the illness severity and mortality among COVID-19-infected healthcare workers (HCWs). Design A retrospective cohort study using population-level data. Secondary analysis was conducted on collated data from the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) at the State Ministry of Health, Rivers State, Nigeria. Data were gathered from the COVID-19 patient database of the PHEOC on demographics, place of work, illness severity and outcome. Participants The cohort included all documented HCWs with confirmed COVID-19 infection (diagnosed by PCR). Primary and secondary outcome measures Illness severity defined as 'hospitalisation required' and treatment outcome labelled as 'alive' or 'dead' were the outcomes of interest. Results The mean age was 43 years and 50.5% of the cohort were female. Of the 301 HCWs infected, 187 patients were symptomatic with 32 requiring hospitalisation. Seven infected HCWs died of their COVID-19 infection, resulting in a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.3%. Population proportions for age groups, case presentation and mortality, would be significantly greater than those seen in the study population. Health professionals made up 79.7% (240) of the study cohort, with 68.8% (165) of them working at the teaching hospitals; the association between HCWs and health facilities they worked in, was significant. Symptomatic cases were more inclined to progress to severe illness (χ(1)2=15.219,α=<0.0001; adjusted OR (aOR) 10.658, 95% CI 2.494 to 45.552); patients also had greater odds of dying from COVID-19 (χ(5)2=13.7,α=0.003; aOR 1.079, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.141) per year increase in age adjusted for sex, case class and illness severity. Conclusions Frontl-ine HCWs are at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 infections. In Nigeria, there is a higher risk of experiencing severe illness if symptomatic while infected with COVID-19. Preventive strategies, proper education and awareness must be put in place to protect HCWs. Objective To determine the illness severity and mortality among COVID-19-infected HCWs.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





Article Number




Link to publisher version (DOI)