Assessing the dynamics of medical waste management: a comparison between clinics and hospitals in Katabi Town Council Wakiso District
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Medical wastes are highly infectious and hazardous wastes hence its management is vital not only because human health is vital but also for the quality of the environment. However, medical waste management are still under required standards in urban areas and are becoming a potential public health risk and an environmental burden as well. The study, therefore, sought to assess the dynamics of medical waste management in Katabi Town Council, Wakiso district. The specific objectives of the study were to (i) identify the types and sources of medical wastes generated in both hospital and clinic (ii) investigate the methods of waste disposal and (iii) examine the effects of poor medical waste disposal. Data was collected using household surveys, in-depth interviews as well as informal discussions held with respondents in the selected hospital and clinic. In-depth interviews and discussion responses were categorized into themes in line with the study objectives and descriptive statistics were generated where possible. Results indicated that trainings and use of radios raised awareness about medical wastes and their management. General wastes remains the biggest challenge that requires multiple solutions. While waste was separated within facilities, no measurement of the waste was done. Maternity and theatre were the highest sources of medical waste in hospitals while doctors office and pharmacy for the clinics. Isolation of wastes, provision of PPE and immediate disposal wastes as strategies are not enough to prevent poor waste management. The high costs, limited facilities for final disposal and limited supervision from the ministry are highlighted as reasons for poor disposal of wastes. Thus the high risks of infectious diseases in both hospital and clinics. There is need for government and other medical bodies for joint efforts towards proper management of medical wastes.