Saadia Ayub, Minahil Iram, Khayyam Arif, Mehwish Arif
Background: Proper hospital waste handling and disposal are of primary importance as it poses a great threat to healthcare workers and waste handlers, as well as to the environment and general public. Previous studies in Pakistan have shown that waste generation is around 1.35 kg per patient per day. The inappropriate disposal of healthcare waste, such as open dumping leads to contamination of other waste while uncontrolled burning releases environmental toxins. The main reason why medical waste poses such a threat is due presence of pathogens such as virulent strains of viruses and pathogenic bacteria in high numbers. On these grounds, it is imperative to ensure segregation of hazardous from non-hazardous waste, in order to reduce bulk and to prevent contamination of the non-hazardous waste, as well as to prevent water, air and soil pollution.
Aim: To assess the knowledge of doctors regarding hospital waste management and their awareness of HWM protocol at Ghurki Hospital
Setting: Outpatient departments of Ghurki Hospital, Lahore from December 2019 to February 2020
Methodology: A cross sectional study with a sample size of 112 using non-probability consecutive sampling. Sampling population was all MBBS doctors of any designation and qualification working at GTTH. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire which assessed knowledge of doctors regarding hospital waste management and awareness of HWM protocol carried out at GTTH.
Results: 19.6% of the correspondents rated their knowledge regarding HWM as good while 67.9% and 12.5% felt they had adequate and poor knowledge, respectively. 60.7% doctors wished to receive more training about waste management. 94.6% were able to correctly identify between general, infectious and hazardous waste, while 88.4% were aware of hazards of improper handling of hospital waste.
Conclusion: In conclusion we saw that most doctors working at GTTH had little to adequate knowledge however majority were well aware of waste management protocol carried out at GTTH. While the hospital offered waste management training to its infection control team, this training program should also be extended to doctors as 60.7% wished to receive more training on the subject.
Keywords: hospital waste management, contamination, segregation, incineration