Document Type : ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Materials, Environment and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Tangier, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tangier 93000, Morocco
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Good health and a safe environment are essential for sustainable development, including the appropriate management of healthcare wastes. The study intends to assess the generation rate and management methods of healthcare waste in the regional hospital center and a private clinic in Tangier, Morocco, with a focus on potential risks to health workers from infectious diseases.
METHODS: The study collected data on healthcare waste generation over a period of two months by measuring and analyzing general and hazardous waste using an electronic scale. The data was presented as averages in kilograms per bed per day and as percentages. A questionnaire was provided to 100 healthcare workers. It included questions on their sociodemographic characteristics and their knowledge and attitudes regarding healthcare waste management.
FINDINGS: The case study revealed that the healthcare waste production in the two institutions varied, with the private clinic producing 0.76 kilograms per day per bed and the regional hospital center producing 1.84 kilograms per day per bed. The survey also discovered that the hazardous fraction of waste generated in the regional hospital center was 40 percent, which was much higher than the World Health Organization’s estimation. The daily amount of hazardous waste generated increased from 260.49 kilograms to 436.81 kilograms post-COVID-19. The survey found gaps in knowledge, attitudes, and daily challenges in waste management practices among the health workers in both facilities.
CONCLUSION: The survey findings suggest that the healthcare waste management methods in Tangier are unsafe and may endanger the health workers and patients. The study found that the lack of monitoring and control contributed significantly to noncompliance with good practices. These findings can be used by the regional divisions of the Ministry of Health to develop specific protocols for managing sanitary emergencies and perform routine observation and training at all levels in the two facilities studied.
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production of infectious waste has increased dramatically, leading to dysfunction of different management processes;
- Effective management systems with the formulation of proactive policies and a national plan for healthcare waste are required to address sanitary emergencies;
- Training programs for healthcare personnel and ongoing oversight are important to minimize the impact on the environment and maintain the safety of patients and staff.
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