Hazardous Biomedical Waste Management in a Level Four Private Hospital in Nairobi County, Kenya
The objectives of the study were to characterize hazardous biomedical waste and assess how the waste managed in a Level Four private Hospital in Nairobi County, Kenya. The hospital selected for the study is one of the largest in the County and was therefore a suitable case study on account of its expected volume and diversity of hazardous biomedical waste. A stratified random sampling procedure was used to select 53 respondents from the medical, teaching administrative and housekeeping departments of the Hospital. Primary data were obtained using questionnaires, informal interviews, observation and photography. Secondary data were derived from hospital records, hospital magazine as well as the Hospital website. Other secondary data sources included research reports, policy documents, unpublished theses. Data analysis was carried out using frequencies and percentages. The study findings indicated the Hospital generated various hazardous biomedical wastes associated with patient, laboratory and support services. The most frequently generated waste was sharps waste which accounted for 92.8 per cent of the patient services categories. Infectious, pathological and chemical wastes accounted for 78.5 per cent, 71.4 per cent and 64.3 per cent respectively, of the patient service categories. The study also established that waste segregation using colour coded bins was well entrenched in the hospital although waste mixing occurred. All hazardous biomedical wastes were treated and onsite waste transportation was conducted using trolleys and carts, as per the provisions of Kenya’s The Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Waste Management) Regulations, 2006. A significant proportion of the study respondents (75.5 per cent) were aware of the various policies governing hazardous biomedical waste management and waste was mainly managed through incineration and private waste collection. The main waste management challenges in the hospital were the mixing of wastes, waste spillage as well as ignorance of waste management procedures by waste handlers. It is concluded that although the hospital was safely and effectively managing hazardous biomedical waste through compliance with the provisions of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Waste Management) Regulations, 2006, it nonetheless needed to address the challenges associated with mixing of waste at the departmental and waste handling levels, as well as the environmental implications of the use of incineration as the main the main waste management practice.
Copyright (c) 2020 Evelyne Atieno, James Moronge
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