Volume 3 Issue 3 2023

Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice of medical staff towards medical waste management in Jinja Regional Referral Hospital in Jinja District Uganda

Twakiire Clare

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Kampala International University Western Campus Uganda.


The study was to assess the medical staff’s knowledge, attitude and practice towards medical waste management. Also to determine the knowledge of medical staff on medical waste disposal, to evaluate attitudes of medical staff on medical waste disposal and to determine the practice of medical staff on medical waste disposal. The study was of a Cross-sectional type using a questionnaire with closed-ended questions that was availed to respondents. The design helped the researcher to obtain more information in a short time as it took little time to conduct. The study included the population of all medical staff both   male and female in Jinja Regional Referral hospital. While undertaking this research, the researcher used questionnaires for data collection. The choice of this method was   determined and was interpreted by the nature of data collected, the time available as well as by the objectives of the study. Data were collated, tallied and analyzed with the aid of a Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The results were presented in tables as percentages, means and standard deviation. From the study findings, on the knowledge of medical staff on medical waste disposal, respondents 5% revealed that personal protective equipment must   be used routinely when handling medical waste and that rules/Act for Bio Medical Waste Management don’t exist, 10% revealed that medical waste includes used, cartoons, papers, and plastics, 8.75% showed that placing medical waste in wrong bin is not high risk. Conclusion: Medical waste management is affected by knowledge, attitude and practice of medical workers. Some of the health care workers had knowledge gap and did not practice health care wastes management. The study recommended that Training programs need to focus on empowering the nursing professionals on biomedical waste management with broad scope and practical knowledge in all aspects. The right practices and other activities of biomedical waste management and its ramifications in the form of avoiding of injuries, importance of vaccinations and following of universal precautions can be achieved when adequately supported by IEC (information, education and communication) strategies like handouts, stickers, charts, celebrations of various days like hand hygiene day and other days can help in improving the practices of the employees of the organizations.

Keywords: Medical staff, Medical waste disposal, Personal protective equipment, Healthcare workers, Biomedical waste management.


Medical waste is waste that is generated by healthcare workers when carrying out healthcare activities in health institutions [1-4]. Healthcare workers produce various types of waste in different health departments such as laboratories, medical research facilities, dental practices, veterinary clinics, physicians’ offices, outpatient departments, on wards and immunization clinics [5-9].  Medical waste can be classified as chemical waste, radioactive waste, genotoxic waste, pathological waste, cytotoxic waste, pharmaceutical waste and general waste. Medical waste includes sharps, bodily fluids like blood, swabs, excreta, lab cultures, body parts, expired or contaminated vaccines and drugs, human tissue and carcasses used for research purposes. Each classification must be disposed according to the prescribed guidelines [10-13]. Methods of disposal of waste are incineration, sterilization, chemical disinfection and secured landfill. Segregation of medical waste must be done at the point of generation. This should be done by discarding the medical waste in colour-coded containers. Incineration, chemical disinfection and microwaving are methods of disposing of sharps. Radioactive waste must be handled, stored and disposed of in accordance with the prescribed legislature [14-17]. Laboratory and associated waste directly involved in specimen processing can be disposed of either through incineration or chemical disinfection. Human tissue must be disposed of through incineration. The disposal of pharmaceutical waste depends on the composition of the materials. It must be stored in non-reactive containers and disposed of through incineration [2]. There is a need to prevent injuries to other medical staff, and patients and to protect the environment from medical waste thus medical staff must have adequate knowledge on disposal of medical waste which in turn affects their attitude and practice toward hospital medical waste [13-16].  A study which was conducted among healthcare workers in Iganga general hospital, Uganda on medical waste management indicates the respondents had fairly good knowledge, a fairly keen attitude on the subject and somewhat fair practice on hospital waste management [3]. The existing legal provisions do not ensure that medical institutions, Local Government Authorities and Central Government units associated with the generation and management of HCW ensure a duty of care and take precautionary measures to protect health workers, waste handlers, the general public and the environment from adverse effects of improper handling of HCW. This lack of provisions makes it difficult for medical institutions to set up integrated HCWM plans and treatment and disposal facilities since there is no legal framework or codified penalties for improper conduct [4].


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CITE AS: Twakiire Clare (2023). Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice of medical staff towards medical waste management in Jinja Regional Referral Hospital in Jinja District Uganda. NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC AND EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES (NIJSES) 3(3):58-67.