Authors: Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Grant Murewanhema, Malizgani Mhango, Patrick Gad Iradukunda, Itai Chitungo, Moreblessing Mashora, Pelagia Makanda, James Atwine, Munashe Chimene, Elliot Mbunge, Munyaradzi Paul Mapingure, Innocent Chingombe, Godfrey Musuka, Sphamandla Josias Nkambule, and Bernard Ngara.
Understanding the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers is a critical component to inform occupational health policy and strategy. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to map and analayse the available global evidence on the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers. The random-effects adjusted pooled prevalence of COVID-19 among those studies that conducted the test using the antibody (Ab) method was 7% [95% CI: 3 to 17%]. The random-effects adjusted pooled prevalence of COVID-19 among those studies that conducted the test using the PCR method was 11% [95% CI: 7 to 16%]. We found the burden of COVID-19 among healthcare workers to be quite significant and therefore a cause for global health concern. Furthermore, COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers affect service delivery through workers’ sick leave, the isolation of confirmed cases and quarantine of contacts, all of which place significant strain on an already shrunken health workforce.