Assessment of Healthcare Waste Management Practice in Facilities with Previous Capacity Building on Healthcare Waste Management (HCWM) in Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art008

Authors : Ugbena, Eneojo Richard


Introduction: Health care wastes constitute a small stream of all waste generated by human yet proper disposal of this waste is a great concern because of its hazardous nature. Most developing countries have poor culture of hospital waste management due to competing medical needs and lack of commitment by hospital management. AIDS Support and Technical Assistant Resources (AIDSTAR1) a development partner supported government of Nigeria to build capacity of health care workers in line with World Health Organization (WHO) and national guideline on HCWM.. It is expected that this support would yield the desired result of improving HCWM in Nigeria. This study is to assess the level of implementation of national guideline on HCWM in Nigeria.

Methodology: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted using key informant interview and direct observation of HCWM practices in 5 facilities selected from 3 out of the 6 priority states supported by AIDSTAR1. The guideline on minimum package for HCWM in Nigeria was used as a tool for assessing level of implementation at each health facility.

Results: There was marked improvement in HCWM practices across the facilities compared to only 2.5% of facilities who met minimum standard for HCWM as described in the baseline assessment in 2011. All the facilities had infection prevention committee and all the various types of waste boxes were available and used in the facilities for waste segregation. Wastes were evacuated to points of final disposal even though there were some operational challenges with the process. There was high awareness of the hazardous nature of hospital waste and the need to dispose them in a sanitary manner.

Conclusion: Training of all cadres of health care workers including waste handlers, management staffs, and provision of necessary material for HCWM has lead to improved HCWM in Nigeria. It is hereby recommended that government should ensure that guideline for minimum package of healthcare waste management are continuously implemented in health facilities in line with the national policy on HCWM.

Key words: Healthcare waste management, Hazardous health waste, National healthcare waste management guideline, Healthcare waste segregation.


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