Background: Improper management of infectious waste is associated with various occupational infections and injuries. Among healthcare workers, waste handlers have the highest incidence of exposure to biomedical waste. Limited knowledge toward handling healthcare waste is a major cause for improper handling of healthcare waste. The objective of this study was to measure the level of hospital waste handlers’ knowledge of healthcare waste management and identify factors associated with their level of knowledge
Methods: An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among waste handlers at Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia from May to June 2017. A stratified sampling technique was used to select 152 study participants. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires to collect data from respondents.. The data was analyzed using logistic regression model to identify influencing factors on the level of knowledge of waste handlers on healthcare waste management.
Results: A total of 152 hospital waste handlers participated in this study. The proportion of waste handlers who had a good knowledge of health care waste management at Gondar University Hospital was 48%. The findings of the study indicated educational level, working department and work experience as factors that were significantly associated with hospital waste handlers’ level of knowledge about healthcare waste management in the hospital.
Conclusion: Waste handlers working at Gondar University Hospital exhibit low levels of knowledge about healthcare waste management compared to other developing countries. Educational level, working department and work experience were influencing factors on hospital waste handlers’ level of knowledge about healthcare waste management. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2018;32(4):240-245]
Keywords: Hospital waste handlers, biomedical waste, healthcare waste management, Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia