Knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care workers in private clinics on health care waste management in Kawempe division, Kampala district
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Health care waste poses a great risk to health care workers, waste handlers, communities and the environment, if it is not properly managed. There is need for all health care workers to properly manage health care waste to prevent the likely impacts of its poor management. This study assessed knowledge, attitudes and practices on health care waste management among health care workers of private clinics in Kawempe division. A descriptive cross-sectional study design using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was employed. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data in 137 private clinics targeting health care workers including doctors, nurses, midwives, clinicians, laboratory technicians, and dentists. An observational checklist was also used in 20 clinics to establish practices of health care workers within their facilities. This data was entered and cleaned in EPI DATA 3.0 software then analysed in STATA 13 software. A key informant interview guide was used to collect qualitative data from owners of private clinics, local authority practitioners and professionals in academia. Qualitative data was analysed thematically. All the 137 health care workers (100%) were aware of health care waste and its management. Training institutions (73.0%) were the main source of knowledge on health care waste management. Generally, the attitude towards proper healthcare waste management was good, and respondents agreed on different aspects of healthcare waste management. All the 137 respondents (100%) agreed that health care waste management was important and their responsibility. Among the respondents, 73.0% and 69.3% said that buried health care waste and burnt health care waste respectively can cause harm. There was a substantial percentage of health workers (47.4%) who reported injuries due to health care waste, majority of whom reported needlestick injuries (64.6%). In addition, 74.5% used personal protective equipment (PPE) during their work activities. Health care workers in private clinics of Kawempe division were knowledgeable about health care waste management with positive attitudes, and managed the health care waste fairly well. For effective implementation of proper health care waste management, there is need for collaborative efforts among different stakeholders like KCCA and health care workers to maintain and improve health care workers’ attitudes for proper health care waste management.