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Sharp waste management in rural clinics in Swaziland

INTRODUCTION: Poor management of health-care waste can cause serious disease to
health-care personnel, waste workers, patients and the general public. The greatest risk is
posed by infectious waste. Through the observation of the researcher, the management of
sharp waste in rural clinics in Swaziland seemed to be poor because waste was often seen
scattered around the clinics. This motivated the researcher to scrutinize the reason behind the
situation in clinics.
AIMS OF THE STUDY: The aim of the study was to evaluate the management of sharp
waste in 35 rural clinics in Swaziland.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
a) To assess the degree to which resources are available to enable staff to adhere to
procedures regarding the segregation, storage, transportation and treatment of sharp
waste in rural clinics in Swaziland.
b) To determine if relevant documents to address the management of sharp waste in rural
clinics are available and accessible.
c) To determine perceptions of clinic managers for failures to comply fully with sharp
waste management standards.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study design was a cross-sectional descriptive
survey. Methods of data acquisition were by acquiring observation checklist and
interviewing clinic managers on sharp waste management practices in their clinics.
The researcher sampled 35 clinics. A convenience sample method was used. RESULTS:
NATIONALLY
Ninety four percent (94%) of the sampled clinics had sharp waste containers to segregate
sharp waste properly. Sixty five percent (65%) had punctured proof containers. Eighty
percent (80%) had sharp waste containers. Eighty six percentage (86%) sealed sharp waste at
¾ full. Twenty percentage (20%) did not have storage areas for sharp waste. Only one (3%)
had a waste trolley. There was availability of protective clothing for all health personnel.
Seventy seven percentage (77%) clinics did not have full protective clothing for waste
handlers. Fifty one percent (51%) did not have risk waste pit/incinerator. Most of the clinics
in the four regions did not have the Waste Regulation 2000, Health Care Waste Management
plan document or the National Health Care Waste Guidelines. Twenty nine percent (29%)
had done trainings on health care waste management.
REGIONALLY
Almost all the clinics had 100% compliance in the availability of sharp waste containers for
segregating health care waste except the Lubombo region that had 78% compliance.
There was no 100% compliance in all the regions on the availability of puncture proof
containers. The Shiselweni region had a very poor compliance as compared to other regions.
It was observed that not all clinics sealed their containers when ¾ full. The Shiselweni region
had lower compliance by 78% and Hhohho region had the highest compliancy of 100%.
There was poor availability of storage areas. All the regions were less than 50% compliance
in the provision of the storage area. Shiselweni region was the only region that was above
50% compliancy.
There was very poor availability of transportation waste trolleys. Only one clinic in
Shiselweni region had transportation waste trolley.
There was 100% compliance in the availability of protective clothing for health personnel.
There was poor availability of protective clothing for waste handlers. Shiselweni region was
the only region that was above 50% compliance, the rest had a very low compliance. There was poor availability of risk waste pit/incinerator in Hhohho and Manzini region. Their
compliance was less than 50%. Shiselweni andLubombo region were above 50% compliance.
Availability of legislation was very poor in regions. The Hhohho and Manzini were the worst
regions in terms of compliancy. They had 0% compliancy. The Lubombo region had the
highest compliancy of 33% and this was very low since it was below 50%.
INTERVIEWS
Eighty six percent (86%) clinic managers revealed that there was poor availability of
resources in their clinics and that was why their clinics were not complying.
Eighty six percent (86%) of clinic managers recommended that there should be availability of
resources; few recommended that there should be availability of protective clothing for the
waste handlers and regulations.
Seventy one percent (71%) clinic managers needed technical support on incinerators/risk
waste pit, Twenty percent (20%) need supported on trainings of health care waste.
CONCLUSION: There was poor availability of resources and there were poor relevant
documents to address the management of sharp waste containers in most clinics. All clinic
managers during their interviews felt that they needed close supervision and technical support
from their supervisors so that it could be easy for the supervisors to identify any problems
associated in clinics.
RECOMMENDATIONS: The study revealed that sharp waste management was not well
managed in all the stages from segregation to disposal.
It is the responsibility of Supervisors in clinics to make sure that there is availability of
resources in clinics to enable staff to adhere to procedures regarding the segregation, storage,
transportation and treatment of sharp waste in rural clinics in Swaziland.
Relevant documents should be available to address the management of sharp waste
containers.
There should be close supervision in clinics from supervisors

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:netd.ac.za/oai:union.ndltd.org:wits/oai:wiredspace.wits.ac.za:10539/11057
Date17 January 2012
CreatorsMalinga, Glenrose
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
LanguageEnglish
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis
Formatapplication/pdf, application/pdf, application/pdf, application/pdf

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