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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 251-255

Knowledge and practices of health-care waste management among health Workers in Lassa fever treatment facility in Southeast Nigeria


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital; National Obstetrics Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Robinson Chukwudi Onoh
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Unit, Federal Teaching Hospital, PMB 102, Abakaliki, 480 001, Ebonyi State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_161_18

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Background: The threat of endemic, emerging, and reemerging infectious diseases, especially the viral hemorrhagic fevers demands effective health-care waste management (HCWM) among health-care workers. The study was intended to assess the knowledge and practices of HCWM among the cleaning staff in a Lassa fever (LF) treatment facility. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study of 234 cleaning staff of Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki recruited by systematic random sampling. Data collection was with semi-structured questionnaires. Knowledge and practices of respondents were assessed using cutoff score of 75%; score of 75% and above being interpreted as good and <75% as poor. Data were analyzed using Epi™ Info Version 7.2. Results: There were 177 (75.6%) female and 57 (24.4%) male cleaning staff with a mean age of 33.4 years (±8.3). Among all the respondents, 18 (7.7%) had no formal education, while others had varying levels of education (primary, 43 [18.4%]; secondary, 133 [56.8%]; tertiary, 40 [17.1%]). Only 134 (57.3%) of the respondents had ever been trained on HCWM, of which 77 (57.5%) of them were trained in 2018. The proportion of respondents with good knowledge of HCWM was 41.5%. In addition, only 83 (35.5%) properly categorized the body parts, body fluids, and fetuses as pathological waste. About one-third, 77 (33.3%), had knowledge of steps in HCWM and 45.3% knew of diseases transmitted through health-care waste with 171 (62.8%) identifying LF as one of the diseases. The proportion of respondents with good practices of HCWM was 53.9% with only 131 (56.0%) segregating waste in specified color-coded containers. Among the factors examined, none was significantly associated with knowledge and practice of participants on HCWM. Conclusion: The proportions of the cleaning staff with good knowledge and practices of HCWM were low. There is a need to train and retrain hospital staff on proper HCWM as well as need for proper supervision and monitoring.


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