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Medical waste management practices in a Southern African hospital

Patience Aseweh Abor (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
Anton Bouwer (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the medical waste management practices of a hospital in Southern Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology was utilised.

Findings

The results revealed that the hospital does not quantify medical waste. Segregation of medical waste into infectious waste and non‐infectious waste is not conducted according to definite rules and standards. Separation of medical waste and municipal waste is however practiced to a satisfactory extent. Wheeled trolleys are used for on‐site transportation of waste. Off‐site transportation of waste is outsourced to a private firm. Incineration is used in the final disposal of infectious waste. Non‐infectious waste is disposed using land disposal method. There is no policy and plan in place for managing medical waste. A number of problems were identified with respect to medical waste management.

Originality/value

The paper gives recommendations with the aim of improving medical waste management in hospitals.

Keywords

Citation

Aseweh Abor, P. and Bouwer, A. (2008), "Medical waste management practices in a Southern African hospital", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 356-364. https://doi.org/10.1108/09526860810880153

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited