Assessment of healthcare waste generation rate and its management system in health centers of West Gojjam zone, Amhara Region

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Addis Abeba Universty


Background: The aim of healthcare services is to reduce health problems and to prevent potential health risks. On the other hand health facilities generate hazardous and non hazardous waste that is potentially harmful to public health and the environment if not segregated and dispose properly. Objective: To assess the waste generation rate and its management system in health centers of West Gojjam zone. . Methods: Cross-sectional study was employed to estimate waste generation rate and evaluate their management system in health centers from March 2007 to April 2007. Ten health centers were included in the study. Observational checklist, key informant interview and weighting scale were used to assess the management and to quantify the generation rate. Weighing of healthcare waste was done for eight days in each health center. Data collectors and supervisor were recruited and trained. Training of data collectors and calibration of weighing scale with standard weights were done during data collection to assure data quality. Data were compiled and analyzed with EPi Info version 6.04d & SPSS version 13.0. Results: The mean (±SD) healthcare waste generation rate was 1.79 ±0.57 kg/day or 0.035kg/patient/day±0.07, of which (52.0%) 0.93±0.3 kg/day was general or non-hazardous waste and (48.0%) 0.86 ± 0.33 kg/day was hazardous. The mean healthcare waste generation rate between health centers did not significantly vary with Kurskal-Wallis test (x2=8.105, pvalue= 0.524). Only six health centers used safety boxes for collection of sharp wastes and all health centers used plastic buckets with out lid for collection of healthcare waste. Segregation of wastes and pre treatment of infectious wastes were not employed by any of the health centers. Only four out of ten health centers used incinerators and the rest six health centers used open burning for disposal of healthcare wastes. All study health centers had placenta pit for disposal of pathological waste however only three pits had proper covering material. Training about healthcare waste management was not given for waste handlers and healthcare workers. Operational standards and healthcare waste management committee were not found in any of the study health centers. Conclusion and Recommendation: The mean healthcare waste was 0.035 kg/patient/day or 1.79 kg/day per health center of HCW was generated. It is managed and disposed in manner that pose health risk to healthcare workers, waste handlers and the vii community in addition to contaminate the surrounding environment (air, soil and water). Segregation of wastes at point of generation with appropriate collected material and pre treatment of infectious waste before disposal should be practiced. Training of healthcare workers and waste handlers should be given. Incinerators must be constructed in a manner that facilitates complete combustion and the lining of placenta pit should be constructed in watertight material.



Assessment of healthcare waste generation rate