This study was undertaken to identify the waste disposal options adopted by the different hospital authorities in managing wastes generated as well as determining their awareness level on hospital waste management issues. A daily waste inventory study of each hospital department was carried out for six months in five different hospitals as representative healthcare institutions in Port Harcourt, Nigeria to estimate the waste types and quantities generated. Results obtained showed that 5.53 kg of hazardous portions of hospital wastes and 20.4 kg of non-hazardous waste portions were generated per day by the three categories of hospitals. The waste composition obtained for the different hospital categories show a positive linear relationship between and among the categories of hospitals and the wastes they generate. The findings further show that all the hospitals fell below the recommended waste management practices as prescribed by the World Health Organization and other regulatory authorities. Wastes were not segregated into marked or colour coded containers/bins for the different waste streams neither do they keep records of waste generation and disposal. Recommendations are made for training of personnel on waste handling and provision of safety gadgets and proper education on waste reduction strategies. This process will ensure a reduction in the quantity of medical waste generated which is more expensive to manage.
Key words: Healthcare wastes, health workers, infectious diseases, waste disposal, waste management, hospitals.
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