Evaluation of Medical Waste Management in Non-Governmental Hospitals in Gaza Governorates
Yassir Fekry Yassir Nasr
ياسر فكري ياسر ناصر
The management of medical waste is of great importance due to its potential environmental hazards and public health risks. In the past, medical waste was often mixed with municipal solid waste and disposed of in residential waste landfills or improper treatment facilities in many countries. In recent years, many efforts have been made by environmental regulatory agencies and waste generators to better manage the wastes from healthcare facilities. This study was carried out on 11 non-governmental hospitals in Gaza governorates. The objective of this study is to identify the factors that affect medical waste management in non-governmental hospitals in Gaza governorates. The methodology was descriptive, quantitative analytical and consisted of the use of observational checklist and self- administered questionnaire with the administration of the healthcare facilities and with personnel involved in the management of the wastes. The sample size included 275 with a response rate of 80% who agreed to participate in the study. The results show that medical wastes generated in hospitals were extremely heterogeneous in composition. The current situation of medical waste management in non-governmental hospitals in Gaza governorates is unsatisfactory. Only 4.1% of the health workers have taken training courses related to medical waste management. About 21.4% of the respondents reported that there is a comprehensive waste disposal plans for the disposal and technical aspects of hazardous wastes, and only 17.3% of the study subjects have seen the waste management legislation in the hospitals. There is a lack of comprehensive waste disposal plans for the disposal and technical aspects of hazardous wastes. There is a lack of treatment facilities when about 27.3% of the hospitals have an incinerator and 8.6% of them have autoclaves for treatment of pathological and infectious wastes. The basic approach to medical waste management is to reduce the quantity of waste at source as far as possible. Hospital wastes should be recycled whenever feasible, with due regard to environmental aspect, to reduce the quantity of material entering the waste system. Waste management requires a system approach, involving the handling, storage, transport; treatment and disposal of waste by methods that at all stages minimize the risk to health and the environment.