Healthcare Waste Management Practices in Jalingo: A Reflection of the State of Healthcare System in Taraba State, Nigeria

Download Article

DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.04.Art017

Authors : Paul Rambe Yunana


A 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.

Keywords: Healthcare, Inefficiency, Waste Management, Quality Service, System Strengthening.


[1] Abah SO, Ohimain EI (2010). Assessment of Dumpsite Rehabilitation Potential using the Integrated Risk Based Approach: A case study. Online at Accessed October 9, 2015.

[2] Abah, S. O., Ohimain, E. I (2011). Healthcare waste management in Nigeria: A case study. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology Vol. 3(3), pp. 99-110, March 2011. Available online at ISSN 2141-2316 ©2011 Academic Journals. Accessed October 19, 2015.

[3] Abdulraheem I. S., Olapipo A. R. Amodu M. O. (2012). Primary health care services in Nigeria: Critical issues and strategies for enhancing the use by the rural communities. Journal of Public Health & Epidemiology Vol. 4(1), pp. 5-13, January 2012. Available online at DOI: 10.5897/JPHE11.133 ISSN 2141-2316.

[4] Adegbita M. A, Nwafor S. O, Afon A, Abegunde A. A, Bamise C. T (2010). Assessment of dental waste management in a Nigerian tertiary hospital. Waste. manag. Res., 28: 769-777.

[5] Ademiluyi, I.A., Aluko-Arowolo, S.O. (2009) Infrastructural distribution of healthcare services in Nigeria: An overview, Paper review. Journal of Geography and regional planning vol. 2(5) pp. 104-110, May 2009. Available online at Accessed October 19, 2015.

[6] Adindu, A & Asuquo, A. (2013). Training human resources for the 21st Century Nigerian Health Sector. Global Journal of Human Resource Management Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp.1-11, September 2013 Published By European Centre for Research Training and Development UK.

[7] Awodele, O., Adewoye, A. A., & Oparah, A. C. (2016). Assessment of medical waste management in seven hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Public Health, 16, 269.

[8] Babatola, J.O (2008). A Study of Hospital Waste Generation and. Management Practice in Akure, Nigeria.

[9] Coker (2009). Medical waste management in Ibadan, Nigeria: Obstacles and Prospects. February 2009. Waste Manag., 29(2): 804- 811.

[10] International Organization for Migration – IOM (2014). Needs Assessment of the Nigerian Health Sector. Available at

[11] Itam, H. I and Adindu, A (2012). Health Security in Africa and Quality of Health Services. Developing Countries Studies, vol.2, 11, 43 -50.

[12] National strategic health development plan (NSHDP) 2009-2015

[13] Olakunle, B. O (2012). Public Healthcare financing in Nigeria: Which way forward? An article review. Annals of Nigerian Medicine / Jan-Jun 2012 / Vol 6 | Issue 1. Downloaded free from, October 18, 2015, IP:

[14] Olaleye, F.(2014). Human resource management in health care delivery systems: Challenges, trends and strategies. Healthcare and Leadership series, Pharma news. Available at

[15] Onisanwa, I.D. (2013). The Impact of Health on Economic Growth in Nigeria. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development ISSN 2222-1700 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2855 (Online) Vol.5, No.19, 2014. Available at

[16] PATH (2009). Achieving effective sharps waste management in GAVI host countries. A proposed approach with estimates of cost 2006 Available at

[17] Timothy, G., Irinoye, O., Yunusa, U., Dalhatu A., Ahmed, S. Suberu, A. (2014). Balancing Demand, Quality and Efficiency in Nigerian Health care Delivery system. European Journal of Business and Management ISSN 2222-1905 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2839 (Online)

[18] Toyobo A.E., Baba A.O, Oyeniyi A.B. (2012) Appraisal of university teaching hospital medical waste management in Nigeria: Case Studies of University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Vol.6, No.23, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from:

[19] Uneke, C. J., Ezeoha, A. E., Ndukwe, C. D., Oyibo, P. G., & Onwe, F. (2010). Development of Health Policy and Systems Research in Nigeria: Lessons for Developing Countries’ Evidence-Based Health Policy Making Process and Practice. Healthcare Policy, 6(1), e109–e126.

[20] Welcome, M. O. (2011). The Nigerian health care system: Need for integrating adequate medical intelligence and surveillance systems. Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences, 3(4), 470–478. Accessed October 19, 2015 from

[21] WHO (1999). Safe management of wastes from health-care activities, edited by A. Prüss, E. Giroult and P. Rushbrook. Geneva, WHO, 1999, 228 pages. Available at:

[22] WHO (2012). Ten facts on Universal health coverage. Features: fact files May 2012. Available at

[23] WHO (2014) Safe management of wastes from health-care activities / edited by Y. Chartier et al. – 2nd ed.

[24] WHO (2015). Health systems: Tracking Universal health coverage. Accessed October 15, 205 from:

[25] WHO (2007). Towards better leadership and management in health. Report on International consultation on strengthening leadership and management in low income countries, February 2007. pp 2-13.

[26] WHO (2005). Management of Solid Health-Care Waste at Primary Health-Care Centres: A Decision-Making Guide. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2005, 57 pages. ISBN 92 4 159274 5. Available at: Accessed October 20, 2015.

[27] World Bank (2007). Healthy Development: The World Bank Strategy for HNP Results Annex L─April 24, 2007. Available at.