Author(s): Rasheed S, Iqbal S, Baig LA, Mufti K, Rasheed S, Iqbal S, Baig LA, Mufti K
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the current practices of segregation approaches, storage arrangements, collection and disposal systems in the teaching hospitals of Karachi. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight teaching hospitals of Karachi, using convenient sampling technique. The instrument of research was a self administered questionnaire, with four sections, relating to the general information of the institution, administrative information, information regarding Health Waste Management personnel and a check-list of Hospital Waste Management activities. RESULTS: Out of eight hospitals visited 2 (25\%) were segregating sharps, pathological waste, chemical, infectious, pharmaceutical and pressurized containers at source. For handling potentially dangerous waste, two (25\%) hospitals provided essential protective gears to its waste handlers. Only one (12.5\%) hospital arranged training sessions for its waste handling staff regularly. Five (62.5\%) hospitals had storage areas but mostly it was not protected from access of scavengers. Five (62.5\%) hospitals disposed off their hazardous waste by burning in incinerators, two (25\%) disposed off by municipal landfills and one (12.5\%) was burning waste in open air without any specific treatment. No record of waste was generally maintained. Only two (25\%) hospitals had well documented guidelines for waste management and a proper waste management team. CONCLUSION: There should be proper training and management regarding awareness and practices of waste disposal. Research must be undertaken to seal existing gaps in the knowledge about hospital waste management. The hospital waste management guidelines enacted on 7th June 2004 should be followed and regulated by law enforcement agencies rigorously.
This article was published in J Pak Med Assoc
and referenced in Medical Safety & Global Health