Maina Susan Muthoni, Andrew
Background: Medical waste is waste generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals. Approximately 10-25% of the medical waste is hazardous, injurious to humans, animals, and environment and has high potential for diseases transmission when not properly managed. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the level of knowledge among health professionals and individuals involved in medical waste management in Kenyan hospitals. Design: A descriptive cross sectional study was used in the study. This was done within the period of April to August 2015. Settings: The study was done in Nairobi, Kenya at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) a public hospital and Kiambu County at Kikuyu Mission Hospital (KMH) a private hospital. Participants: All Health management staff and waste workers who met the inclusion criteria and consented. A total of 246 respondents from each hospital were used to collect the data. Results: It was observed that the overall knowledge towards medical waste (MW) management was high amongst all the healthcare professionals in both hospitals (above 50%). Doctors were the most knowledge among other professionals in both hospitals among other health workers In KNH staffs with1-5 years of experience (84.62%) had the most knowledge towards medical waste management issues as compared to KMH with 5-10 years (83.72%). On the knowledge of management of medical waste handling rule policy of 1998, doctors had (94.1%, KNH and 88.2% KMH while public health officers in each hospital had 100%. About source of segregation of medical waste nurses had 93.3%, KNH, 94.1% KMH and doctors had 88.2% (KNH) and 88.1% (KMH) respectively. On knowledge towards recognition of a biohazard symbol, nurses had the highest scores with KNH scoring 87.2% while at KMH they had 77.2%. Conclusion: The level of knowledge on medical waste aspects was high. Doctors and public health officers had the highest level of education in the hospitals and had most knowledge in theoretical rules and regulations questions, while nurses and clinical officers had the most knowledge on technical issues such as segregation and recognition of biohazard. In the present study, it was concluded that there was the least experienced but committed and the long serving and dedicated to serve. KNH had better knowledge towards medical waste aspects than KMH. There is therefore need to have a joint collaboration on medical waste aspects in public and private hospitals.