Background: Healthcare waste (HCW) management is one of the biggest problems the globe is facing especially in developing nations related to its increasing amount of generation and existence of ineffective technology and poor management. The impact associated with poor HCW management is wide ranging from environmental pollution to transmission of diseases including infection like typhoid and cholera to more deadly diseases such as Hepatitis virus and HIV/AIDS.
Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the waste management practice and associated factors among health care workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: Mixed method was applied for collecting data from health professionals CEOs and environmental professionals in 11 government hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted among 504 randomly selected health professionals. The data was collected using a pre-tested self-administered structured questionnaire and SPSS statistical software was used for analysis. Multi variable logistic regression analysis was used 95% CI to assess the degree of association between the outcome and explanatory variables. 4 chief executive officer (CEOs) and 5 environmental health professionals were interviewed using semi-structured key-informant guide.
Result: More than half of health professionals 200 (57.8%) were found to have a good practices in healthcare waste management and 289(59.6%) had good knowledge about this issue. Most of the respondents (85.1%) were not using color coded bins and 42.3% indicated that those bins were not appropriate to store healthcare waste. During waste handling 92.3% of respondents used glove. Only 6 hospitals provide bins, with the recommended color coding or labeling. Interviews showed that proper use of available bins for waste segregation was not as expected . Age of Health professionals and working in Inpatient department were found to be factors associated and statistically significant with good practice to healthcare waste management.
Conclusion and recommendation: The overall practice was not up to the standard in which it can pose health related risk including some infections such as HIV/AIDS, HBV and HCV to healthcare workers, patients and community and contribute to environmental pollution. Therefore, staffâ€™s ownership and regular practice of healthcare waste management principles, leadership, besides engagement of the management body, monitoring, follow up and coordination of healthcare waste management needs to be institutionalized to improve good practice.
Keywords: Health care waste management;Health care safety ;Hospital aquired infections ;LMIC