Assessment of Healthcare Waste Generation Rate and Management System in Health Centers of Bench Maji Zone

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Asrat Meleko
Tarekegn Tesfaye
Andualem Henok


BACKGROUND: It is known that the basic role of healthcaresystem is to preserve the health of patients and protect the publicfrom diseases. However, in the process of performing theseactivities, health facilities generate hazardous waste that could bepotentially harmful to healthcare workers, the public and theenvironment if there is insufficient handling, treatment anddisposal of those wastes. Unfortunately, healthcare wastemanagement is, in many regions, not yet carried out with asatisfactory degree of safety. Therefore, the aim of this study wasto assess healthcare waste generation rate and its managementsystem in health centers of Bench Maji Zone.METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted fromFebruary to August, 2016. Observational checklist, key informantinterview guide and weight scale were used to assess healthcarewaste generation rate and its management system in selectedhealth centers. Training, pre-test, instrument calibration and dailymeeting were used to improve data quality. The Data was entered,compiled and analyzed using EpiData version 3.1 and SPSSversion 21. The results on waste management system werereported using different descriptive statistics.RESULTS: Out of the total HCW generated in health centers,more than half (57.9%) was general or non-risk HCW, and theremaining 42.1% was hazardous healthcare waste. The amount ofHCW generated in the studied health centers was different fromWHO’s norm which may be attributed to different factors such aseconomy, patient flow, difference in services provided, poor wastesegregation practice, available waste management system andseasonal factors.CONCLUSION: HCW was not adequately managed which ischaracterized by lack of HCW segregation at source of generationand inadequate facilities to manage HCW. Therefore, it isimportant to develop a HCW management plan for keeping humanhealth as well environmental sustainability.

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Original Article
Author Biographies

Asrat Meleko, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan, Ethiopia

Department of Public Health

Tarekegn Tesfaye, Mizan-TepiUniversity, Mizan, Ethiopia

Department of Pharmacy

Andualem Henok, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan, Ethiopia

Department of Public Health