Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice on bio-medical waste management and associated factors among waste handlers in the health care facilities in Mpigi Town Council Uganda.
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Introduction. Biomedical waste is a total waste stream which is generated from the healthcare facilities during the healthcare delivery process. The waste generated from the Health care facilities (HCFs) is broadly categorized as general and hazardous waste. According to the WHO estimation, the general and biomedical waste types constituted about 85% and 15%, respectively. It can contain potentially hazardous substances for the human being and the environment. Waste handlers play a significant role for its proper management and they need to have adequate knowledge, attitude, and practices. Therefore, biomedical waste (BMW) management is an important commitment of health facilities both in terms of the possible infectious risk and from the financial point of view. Objectives. To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of the health care waste handlers and factors associated with the management of biomedical waste in both private and public health facilities in Mpigi town council in order to generate evidence that will be used by stakeholders to direct proper management in this area. Method. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in Mpigi town council health facilities both private and public. The study conducted among 189 health care waste handlers (HCWHs) where interviews and observations methods were applied for data collection. A total of 8 key informant interviews were conducted among the local authority practitioners and the waste collection team leaders. Quantitative data were entered and cleaned in EPI DATA 3.0 software then analyzed in STATA 13 software. Qualitative data was transcribed and analyzed thematically. Findings were presented in text and tables. Data collection commenced after getting ethical clearance from Makerere University School of Public Health and Mpigi Town Council. Results: Out of 189 respondents, majority were female 67.7%, aged at least 30 years (51%). More than three-quarters 166(87.83%) of the study participants knew that their facilities generate biomedical waste, 144(76.19%) knew about how the biomedical waste can be managed at the facilities. A great number 146(77.25%) of the respondents agreed that proper BMW handling is an issue of a great concern and that every health care worker should have wide knowledge about health care waste hazards and legislation. Among the participants, majority 61.90%, 38.62%, 17.99% used heavy-duty gloves, gumboots and the aprons while cleaning of disposing of waste respectively. More than half (53.97%) reported to have ever encountered sharps/needle stick injuries in their last 12 months. Conclusion Biomedical waste handlers in all the healthcare facilities were averagely knowledgeable 99(52.38%) about biomedical waste management with positive attitudes 140(74.07%), and managed the health care waste fairly well. For effective implementation, there is a need for biomedical waste handlers to be aware of the government medical waste management plan and handling procedures and implementing them.