ASSESSMENT OF MEDICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IN MISRATA HEALTHCARE CENTERS AND HOSPITALS
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BACKGROUND: The management of medical waste is of great importance due to its infectious and hazardous nature that can cause risks on public health and environment. AIMS: The aims of the study were to assess medical waste management practices and to determine types of medical waste generated in healthcare facilities of Misrata City. METHODS: A survey questionnaire obtained from WHO was modified and used in collecting the required data, relating to the type of generated waste, process of segregation and handling, storage, transportation, treatment and final disposal, in addition to interviews with administrators and healthcare staff using questions composed of both open and close- ended questions. SPSS software was used to analyze data. RESULTS: This study indicated that HCFs do not quantify medical waste; 100 % of HCFs have a partial segregation of their medical waste types. Hands were used to transfer waste and the workers did not wear complete PPE. Only 3% of HCFs had partial sanitization practices of storage areas, which were not secured, and without any labeling with a bio hazardous symbol in 100% of the facilities. Waste collection happened randomly between 24 hours and 72 hours in 91.2% of HCFs in Misrata, only 8.8% of surveyed HCFs collect and transport the waste outside the hospital daily. No incinerators for medical waste in all HCFs at Misrata city; all HCFs disposed of their domestic and medical waste at the same site as the municipal waste. CONCLUSION: The process of medical waste management of government HCFs at Misrata city is poor and not received adequate consideration, since there is inadequate and inefficient segregation, collection, transportation and storage of medical waste, in addition to absences of incinerators and treatment of hazardous medical waste.