Assessment of Healthcare Waste Management Practices Among Health Workers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria
The outcome of healthcare services is aimed at preventing potential human health risks and environmental hazards as well as improving wellbeing. In the process, however, wastes that are potentially harmful are generated and poor management of these healthcare wastes (HCW) exposes the health workers, patients, patient’s visitors, waste handlers and the general public to health risks. The objective of this study is to assess the waste management practices of health workers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun state.
A descriptive cross-sectional design was employed to collect data from four selected healthcare facilities. A total of 303 health workers randomly selected served as respondents. A structured questionnaire was administered to health workers to determine their knowledge and practice on healthcare waste management. Whereas non-participatory observation checklist was used to collect data on their current practices as regards to Healthcare waste management. Data were analysed, and presented as descriptive statistics using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 and hypothesis was tested using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient.
Findings revealed that 228 (75.2%) of the respondents are working in tertiary health care facility, 60 (19.8%) working in secondary health care facility and 15(5.0%) are working in primary health care facility. Majority 183 (60.4%) of respondents were females and others 120 (39.6%) were males. The highest occurring age group were 31-40 years 127 (41.9%) while the least occurring age group was 60 years 12 (4.0%). 148 (48.8%) were nurses, 94 (31.0%) were Doctors, 32 (10.5%). Findings revealed that there was a significant relationship (p<0.05) between their knowledge and practice. Majority of the respondents (78.2%) had high knowledge on healthcare waste management, 20.5% had moderate knowledge, while few (1.3%) had low knowledge about healthcare waste management. The practice of healthcare waste management is moderate but not adequate.
In conclusion, management of healthcare wastes (HCW) has become one of the critical concerns in developing countries especially Nigeria. Healthcare waste is dangerous, if handled, treated or disposed off incorrectly can spread diseases, and poison people, livestock, wild animals, plants and ecosystems. Healthcare institutions must utilize the most practical options to achieve acceptable standards and practices for Healthcare waste management using available technologies. Measures to improve the Healthcare waste management practices in healthcare facilities in Abeokuta South Local Government and the country at large is to enhance training of all health workers on healthcare waste management. It is recommended that colour coded bag should be made available for segregation of clinical waste in all the healthcare facilities.
Keywords: Assessment, Disposal of healthcare waste, Healthcare waste, Knowledge, Management, Practices, Segregation of healthcare waste.