Knowledge, attitude, and practices of health facility staff on healthcare waste management in health centers in Busiro North Wakiso district
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Background: In developing countries like Uganda, poor attitude and practices of Health facility staff is a major challenge which is a public health issue as it posses great danger of health hazards to people at the health facilities both the staff and people getting medical attention as well as causing pollution to environment. However, there is limited evidence on knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care waste management among staff at public health facilities. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of health facility staff on healthcare waste management in health centers in Busiro north, Wakiso district so as to generate information that can be useful in developing interventions that encourage and improve the management of medical waste. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional study design which utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Data was collected using a face to face as well as self administred interview semi-structured questionnaire among 112 health facility staff. The data was entered into EPI DATA version 3.0 software and then exported to STATA 13.0 software for analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed manually by thematic analysis. Results: The study had aresponse rate of 92/112 (82.1%). All the health facility staff (100%) were aware of health care waste and its management. Training institutions 61/92 (66.3%) 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 92 respondents (100%) agreed that health care waste management was important and their responsibility. Among the respondents, 39/92 (42.3%) and 77/92 (83.7%) said that buried health care waste and burnt health care waste respectively can cause harm. There was a substantial percentage of health facility staff 49/92 (53.6%) who reported injuries due to health care waste, majority of whom reported needleprick injuries 45/92 (48.9%). xv Conclusion Healthcare workers in health centers in Busiro North were knowledgeable about healthcare waste management with positive attitudes, and they managed healthcare waste fairly well. For effective implementation of proper healthcare waste management, there is a need for collaborative efforts among different stakeholders like Wakiso district, private practitioners and health care workers to maintain and improve healthcare workers‟ attitudes toward proper healthcare waste management.