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Journal cover: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Medical waste management practices in a Southern African hospital


Document Information:
Title:Medical waste management practices in a Southern African hospital
Author(s):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)
Citation:Patience Aseweh Abor, Anton Bouwer, (2008) "Medical waste management practices in a Southern African hospital", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 Iss: 4, pp.356 - 364
Keywords:Hospitals, Risk management, South Africa, Waste disposal
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09526860810880153 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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.



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