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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/10241

Title: Solid medical waste management practices at the university hospital, KNUST, Kumasi
Authors: Okyere-Hayford, Francisca
Issue Date: 24-Jan-2017
Abstract: Effective management of solid medical waste (SMW) is an important issue confronting many developing countries including Ghana. Ghana has many health facilities of which the University Hospital, KNUST, Kumasi (UH-KNUST) forms part. This research took place between November 2015 and February 2016 at the UHKNUST, a Level C District Hospital, with an average daily out-patient attendance of 325 patients. Data for the study were gathered from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected through segregation, quantification and weighing of solid medical waste (SMW) generated. Questionnaires were also employed in obtaining primary data. The Hospital generates non-hazardous (general) and hazardous (infectious, pharmaceutical, pathological, heavy metal and sharp) wastes which are currently co-disposed into skip containers on-site. UH-KNUST treats only their sharp waste using incineration, without air pollution control device. Quantities of waste generated were measured twice daily using plastic bags, cardboard boxes and buckets of known weights and a weighing scale. A total of 5422.0 kg and 4262.2 kg of nonhazardous and hazardous wastes respectively were generated within the 16-week study period. Quantities of specific SMW generated in all wards/units were statistically different. The existing management practices, which serves as basis for providing sustainable management measures to issues of waste handling and disposal at the Hospital were identified. This was done by personal observations and administering of questionnaires to waste handlers and healthcare staff. Limitations identified include: inadequate education/sensitization of healthcare personnel and waste handlers, lack of hospital waste management department and policy, non-adherence to segregation of waste, and no documentation of waste generated and waste handling procedures. Sustainable management measures such as effective and regular sensitization of all iv healthcare workers and patients on the importance of segregation and the risks involved in poor handling of SMW among others were recommended to reduce the negative impacts of improper management of SMW on human health and environmental resources. A waste management plan was developed for the UHKNUST to serve as a guideline in managing its SMW. Putting these measures in place will address the various health and environmental issues identified at the UH-KNUST
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering, College of Engineering in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosohpy (Environmental Resources Management), 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/10241
Appears in Collections:College of Engineering

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