Infectious Waste Management in the Face of COVID-19 in a Rural Health Facility in Eastern Uganda

Main Article Content

Okia David
Iramiot Jacob Stanley
Kagoya Kawala Enid
Nekaka Rebecca
Karungi Veronica
Musoki Drake
Oteko Alfred
Nakisuyi Janet
Aisu Emmanuel

Abstract

Aim: This study aimed to assess Infectious Waste Management in face of COVID-19, among Health care workers in Rural Health Facilities in Amuria district, Eastern Uganda. Little evidence exists of the challenges that occur while implementing Infectious waste management in the face of COVID-19 in resource-limited settings in Eastern Uganda. Our findings will close this apparent research gap and inform current district and national policies in Infectious Waste Management.

Materials and Methods: We conducted cross-sectional survey in five health facilities in Amuria district, using modified CDC Infection Control Assessment Tool for health facility, and a validated structured questionnaire  to assess the knowledge of health care workers present on Infectious waste management in the face of COVID-19. Observation and in-depth interviews were also conducted in addition to assess the practice and attitude of staff towards infectious waste management.

Results: The five (100%) of the Health Facilities assessed in Amuria district lacked written infection prevention policies and procedures that are current, and are based on evidence-based guidelines. The facilities also had no competency-based training program that provides job-specific training on infection prevention policies and procedures to health care personnel. In terms of knowledge, Waste handlers had poor knowledge in infection control only 8.3% of the medical waste handlers could identify biohazard symbols and knew how infectious waste is segregated into the different categories at the point of generation. All (100%) of the health care workers were knowledgeable about the COVID-19 standard operating procedures.

Conclusion: The doctors, nurses, clinical officers, and laboratory personnel had good knowledge of infectious waste Management and were up to date with COVID-19 standard operating procedures. The Medical Waste handlers had poor knowledge of Infectious Waste Management and COVID-19 standard operating procedures. Medical Waste handlers also had a poor attitude, towards the use of personal protective gear while on duty. All the Medical Waste handlers were willing to be trained in Infectious Waste Management. The facilities assessed had no enabling environment for infection control (no policies and in-service training in infection control for staff).We recommend Medical Waste Handlers to be trained in infection control and prevention before and after they are employed.

Keywords:
Infectious waste, medical waste handlers, COVID-19, Eastern Uganda

Article Details

How to Cite
David, O., Stanley, I. J., Enid, K. K., Rebecca, N., Veronica, K., Drake, M., Alfred, O., Janet, N., & Emmanuel, A. (2021). Infectious Waste Management in the Face of COVID-19 in a Rural Health Facility in Eastern Uganda. Asian Journal of Medicine and Health, 19(3), 22-36. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajmah/2021/v19i330310
Section
Original Research Article

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