Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Healthcare Managers to Medical Waste Management and Occupational Safety Practices: Findings from Southeast Nigeria IC01-IC04
Dr. Okechukwu Bonaventure Anozie,
Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, PMB 102 Abakaliki,
Ebonyi State-48001, Nigeria.
Introduction: Awareness of appropriate waste management procedures and occupational safety measures is fundamental to achieving a safe work environment, and ensuring patient and staff safety.
Aim: This study was conducted to assess the attitude of healthcare managers to medical waste management and occupational safety practices.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 54 hospital administrators in Ebonyi state. Semi-structured questionnaires were used for qualitative data collection and analyzed with SPSS statistics for windows (2011), version 20.0 statistical software (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp).
Results: Two-fifth (40%) of healthcare managers had received training on medical waste management and occupational safety. Standard operating procedure of waste disposal was practiced by only one hospital (1.9%), while 98.1% (53/54) practiced indiscriminate waste disposal. Injection safety boxes were widely available in all health facilities, nevertheless, the use of incinerators and waste treatment was practiced by 1.9% (1/54) facility. However, 40.7% (22/54) and 59.3% (32/54) of respondents trained their staff and organize safety orientation courses respectively. Staff insurance cover was offered by just one hospital (1.9%), while none of the hospitals had compensation package for occupational hazard victims. Over half (55.6%; 30/54) of the respondents provided both personal protective equipment and post exposure prophylaxis for HIV.
Conclusion: There was high level of non-compliance to standard medical waste management procedures, and lack of training on occupational safety measures. Relevant regulating agencies should step up efforts at monitoring and regulation of healthcare activities and ensure staff training on safe handling and disposal of hospital waste.