This paper assessed healthcare facilities location and medical waste generation and handling in Nigeria. Analysis such as descriptive statistics, correlation and factor analysis was carried out to identify gaps in healthcare facilities location and medical waste management in Nigeria. The population-to-healthcare provider ratio and healthcare waste generation rates in Nigeria were also analysed. The north central geo-political zone of Nigeria has over 9,000 healthcare facilities while the south-south zone has less than 5,000. Public primary health facilities are the most evenly located health institutions in Nigeria. Seventeen states in Nigeria are under served with regards to healthcare providers in facilities and can be classified as healthcare provider shortage areas. About 19,864.03 kg/day of waste is generated in Nigeria with the north central and north east accounting for the highest rates. Standard incineration facilities for effective medical waste management existed in 22% of all health facilities surveyed. Tertiary health facilities had adequate capacity (over 70%) to incinerate medical waste while significant gaps existed at the secondary and primary healthcare levels. Pearson’s correlation of employee capacities and waste management practices was significant. Factor analysis of variables on employee capacities and waste management practices showed that the first two components extracted accounted for 70.43% of the variance. The components matrix revealed that improving the availability of appropriate waste management equipment and control procedures is required. Healthcare policy makers in developing countries and Nigeria should strive towards equitable location of healthcare infrastructure and trained medical personnel, provision of appropriate waste management technologies, and building capacity of healthcare staff involved with the utilization, handling, and disposal of infectious and hazardous medical waste items.
Key words: Healthcare, developing countries, medical waste, infectious waste, Lassa, HIV, hepatitis.
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