Solid Medical Waste Management Practices: A Case Study at the Sefwi – Wiawso Government Hospital

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The management of solid medical wastes poses a number of environmental and health challenges in most developing countries including Ghana. Limited consideration has been given to this issue in spite of the possible health problem medical wastes cause. This study looks at thesolid medical waste management practicesin the SefwiWiawso Government Hospital. Structured and unstructured questionnaires were used to collect data while the total waste generatedwas determined using a weighing scale before segregation.The mean sharps (hypodermic needles, intravenous needles, scalpels, lancets, saws, blades, broken glasses etc.) and hazardous waste generated per month were found to be 30.43±5.3 kg and 96.94± 24.5 kg respectively. The analysis of the results showed that the differences between means of waste generated in different months of the study period were significant (p = 0.0001). The study revealed that except for sharps, segregation of solid medicalwastes was not done.The main treatment method adopted in the final disposal of infectious waste is incineration.The study showed that inadequate training for medical waste staff, lack of supervision, insufficient protective equipment and lack of medical wastes management policies are the major setbacks militating against waste management in Hospital. This study recommends sustainable management of medical wastes in the hospital to avert or reduce its negative impact on health and the environment
A thesis submitted to theDepartment of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science