HEALTHCARE WASTE MANAGEMENT (HCWM) IN PAKISTAN: CURRENT SITUATION AND TRAINING OPTIONS
AbstractBackground: Hospitals in Pakistan produce about 250,000 tons of waste per year. Hospital waste hasbeen reported to be poorly handled and managed by the hospital staff and administration respectively.This leads to environmental and health consequences within hospitals as well as to outside population.Our study aimed to describe the qualitative results of observations of ten large private and publichospitals in the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Pakistan. Methods: The qualitative data wasobtained through direct and indirect observations on hospital staff including doctors, nurses, sweepersand persons in administration and the way they handled the waste. Also direct observations of thehospitals premises inside and outside were made and noted. We also describe the process of involvingthe hospital staff for trainings. Results: Our results showed that almost all of the hospitals did not havepractice of HCWM on their priority. Segregation, handling, storage, transportation and disposal of wastewere below WHO and Pakistan bio-safety rules 2005 standards. The ten hospitals did not have HCWMrules and regulations in place hence the staff do not follow the best practices in this regard which causesnumerous health and environmental consequences not only within the catchment area but also to patientsand staff. Conclusions: Our study highlights the lack of HCWM practices within the ten public andprivate hospitals in two major cities in Pakistan. There is need of trainings of hospital staff in Pakistan.We also found that such trainings are highly feasible if accompanied with incentives to participants.Keywords: Hospital, Management, Observation, Segregation, Training, Waste
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