strong healthcare system is known by efficiency in service delivery through its
individual components. The poor quality service delivery by any of these
components is a reflection of the degree of its weakness. To achieve a strong
health system that will provide efficient and effective health services, there
must be a deliberate effort towards strengthening the system and continuous
improvement of quality of services in each component at all levels. Previous
studies in some hospitals in central and southern parts of Nigeria revealed poor
knowledge and waste management practices. The study was undertaken to assess healthcare
waste handling practices in some selected hospitals in Jalingo Taraba state and
appraise how the poor health system is reflected in this area of service delivery.
The assessment was conducted by extensive review of literature on Nigerian
health system as relates to healthcare waste management practices; and by
direct observation of waste handling practices in those hospitals, compared to
standard practices of healthcare waste management. The results revealed that
the healthcare waste management in those health facilities is far below WHO standards.
This is attributable to the weak and poor healthcare system in the state and
the country. Having an implementable hospital waste management plan, training
healthcare workers of all cadres on proper waste management and regular
supervision by health facility management were recommended as measures to
improve healthcare waste management in the state, which is also a way of health
system strengthening through this aspect of service delivery.
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