Healthcare waste are the waste arising from healthcare related activities such as medical tests, diagnosis of diseases, production and dispensing of drugs and administering of therapy. Poor management of healthcare waste exposes the patients, healthcare workers, waste handlers and the communities to infections and injuries. A survey of healthcare waste management among private healthcare facilities was carried out in Abuja Municipal Area Council. The study assessed 52 private healthcare facilities with a total capacity of about 650 beds. Two sets of questionnaires were administered during the survey. The first of questionnaires on healthcare waste management practices was given to the managerial staff of the private healthcare facilities. The second set of questionnaires, was given to the 190 waste handlers and it dealt with problems involved with healthcare waste management. The quantities of healthcare waste generated by the healthcare facilities was done by weighting the waste generated per day in the sampled facilities. The study revealed that the medical waste generated in the sampled healthcare facilities ranges from 0.17 to 0.83kg/bed/day. The composition of health waste generated shows that 82 % of the waste generated is domestic and non-hazardous waste only between 10-18 % can be classified as hazardous healthcare waste and it comprised of used needles, syringes, soiled dressing, pharmaceutical and pathological waste. About 77 % of healthcare facilities do not practice segregation of waste before disposal. 82 % of the healthcare facilities do not pre-treat waste before disposal. Open dumping within the neighbourhood account for 32 % of disposal option of healthcare waste in most facilities. Majority (64%) of the workers are female. 83 % of the waste handlers were not trained properly on how to manage healthcare waste. Only 40 % of the waste workers use the personal protective equipment, which mostly compromises of overall, facemask and hand glove. Based on the findings, the study recommend that all healthcare facilities should segregate their wastes using the colour coding system by WHO. Pre-treatment of hazardous wastes should be done either by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board at a cost or by the private health facilities before disposal. Open dumping of mixed municipal and healthcare waste should be discouraged. All workers should be trained on techniques of handling healthcare waste. Private healthcare facilities are to provide PPE for their waste workers and to mandate the workers to use the Equipment.
Keywords: Abuja, Healthcare waste, Private healthcare facilities, Healthcare waste workers