Assessment of Medical Waste Management in Khartoum State Hospitals

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Elsidig, Nazik Omer Ahmed
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University of Khartoum
The management of medical waste (MW) is of great importance due to its related potential environmental hazards and public health risks. This study aimed mainly at assessing MW management practices in Khartoum State. Number of hospitals undertaken was twenty. The methodology was descriptive, cross-sectional and consisted of the use of survey and interviews with the authorities of medical waste facilities and with personnel involved in the management of the waste. Samples of wastewater were taken from six hospitals during the period from January to May 2009. The obtained results showed that the surveyed hospitals generated a total of (6253.8) kg/day of wastes, of which about (5003) kg (80%), are non hazardous and (1250.8) kg (20%), are hazardous. The average of wastes generation rate for the hospitals covered was (0.38) kg/bed/day. The study revealed that partial segregation for MW is applied in 85% of waste. In 75% of hospitals transportation of MW to temporary storage areas was done manually. Off-site Transportation is carried out by vehicles. Infectious-hazardous waste is mixed with general waste and disposed off in a municipal waste landfill. Only one hospital (Friendship hospital) had been equipped with an incinerator. Training of workers is available only in 40% and personal protective equipment is available only in 30% of undertaken hospitals. 55% of these hospitals have no clear policy of waste management. Only 20% of studied hospitals have a waste management plan. The findings of this study showed that only (33.3%) of the hospitals investigated were equipped with wastewater treatment system. Septic tanks were used in (66.7%) of v hospitals. Hospitals that equipped with treatment plant disposed their wastewater into the municipal collection system. Hospital with septic tank system transferred their wastewater by large tanks to the area of Karary Mountains. Depending on wastewater quality parameters (T.S.S, C.O.D, B.O.D, D.O, pH, E.C and T.C), high pollution load of hospital wastewater was identified. The study concluded that shortages in waste management in hospitals are generally due to lack of financial resources, poor awareness and training as well as administrative reasons. The study recommended a development and adoption of clear HCWM plans and policies, establishment of environmental management systems within health care facilities, allocation of sufficient financial resources for training of waste management staffs as well as building appropriate infrastructure capable of efficient waste treatment and safe final disposal.
Assessment , Medical ,Waste, Management ,Khartoum State,Hospitals