Assessing the effectiveness of medical waste management strategies; a case study of Mwanza District, Tanzania

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Kampala International University, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Medical wastes are highly infectious and hazardous wastes that may carry pathogens of dreadful diseases hence its management is vital not only because human health is important but also quality of the environment has to be kept into consideration. Mismanagement of Medical waste implies combinations of improper handling of wastes during generation, collection, storage, transport and treatment or disposal. However proper strategies for effective management are still the problem in urban areas and are becoming a potential public health risk and an environment burden as well. A study was guided by four objectives aiming on identifying strategies existing, effectiveness of identified strategies, challenges associated with medical waste management and to find out measures to those challenges in medical waste management, where a number of sixty (60) respondents were included and categorized into doctors, nurses, waste department members, private waste collectors companies and local communities where by methods such as interview, questionnaires and observation were used to collect information regarding waste management. Results showing that the identified strategies used to manage medical wastes were frequent collection, privatization, waste separation, waste treatment and incineration as well as to train workers. And their effectiveness seen was such as improves sanitation and quality of environment, improves health of local communities, controls diseases and reduction of wastes volume. However there some challenges that facing medical waste management these were high operational costs, human population increase, inadequate facilities for medical waste management, poor medical waste management technologies, poor government policy and planning, lack of disposal sites and lack of education and awareness among waste handlers. On the other hand the following were recommendations made for the effective medical waste management strategies such as increase budgeting, increase stakeholders participation, encourage public education and awareness, appropriate information and technology in medical waste management and emphasizing training to waste handlers.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for Award of a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management of Kampala International University
Medical Waste Management Strategie, Mwanza District, Tanzania