Medical Waste Management Practices at Healthcare Facilities in Cape Coast Metropolis
Objectives: This study examined the level of knowledge of health hazards associated with medical waste management, among healthcare workers and management staff of healthcare facilities in the Cape Coast Metropolis.
Methods: Three hundred and twenty (320) healthcare workers were surveyed from two public hospitals in the Metropolis and 7 management staff were purposefully selected and interviewed. The participants include nurses, orderlies, administrators, and environmental health officers. Frequency, percentages and linear regression analyses were performed on the data.
Results: The results showed that 95.9% (n = 307) of health professionals recorded good knowledge about management of medical waste in their facilities. However, arrangement for managing medical waste was inadequate at the facilities (Mean = 1.47, SD = 0.221, CV = 15.03%). The finding revealed that compliance with occupational health and safety guidelines was high (Mean=3.99, SD=0.39, CV=9.82%). Moreover, regression analysis indicated that training is a strong predictor of medical waste practices (0.357) even though educational level, working experiences, and age of the workers were also predictors (-0.356; -0.103; 0.010).
Conclusion: Level of knowledge of hospital workers on medical waste health hazards is high, but arrangements for managing such waste are inadequate or weak. Compliance to Ministry of Health’s occupational health and safety guidelines is high. Meanwhile, training of healthcare workers would increase their medical waste management practices. A well-structured training with appropriate storage facility and good supervision at the point of waste generation should be prioritized to assist workers to practice safer and proper waste segregation.
Keywords:Medical waste management practices, Healthcare Facilities, Cape Coast Metropolis
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