Assessment of Solid Waste Management in Healthcare Facilities in the Offinso Municipality

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The management of hospital waste creates a number of environmental and health challenges in most countries especially, developing countries including Ghana. Despite the possible health implications associated with hospital waste, much attention has not been given to its management. This study sought to assess the solid hospital waste management practices in the Offinso Municipality. Four hospitals were selected for the study. Waste quantification using a weighing scale, questionnaire administration, interviews and observational surveys were undertaken and data thereof analyzed. Differences in total waste generated over the period at the various hospitals was significant (P value < 0.0001).Means of total infectious (420Kg) and total non-infectious (2626.5Kg) waste for the period was 13.0% and 86.2% respectively. The study revealed that with the exception of few sharps (0.3%), segregation of solid hospital waste in terms of infectious and non-infectious materials was rarely done. It was revealed that lack of records (data) on the quantity of waste generated, non -segregation of waste, improper waste disposal and treatment method, lack of waste management department/ officer, lack of effective supervision, lack of hospital waste policy/legislation/regulation, inadequate and non-use of personal protective equipment (PPE) among others; were the main factors hindering proper waste management at the various hospitals studied. The study recommends effective and sustainable management of medical waste at the various hospitals to avoid its negative impact on the health of living organisms especially, humans and the environment.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Environment Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science