Factors influencing Healthcare Waste Management System in Machakos County, Kenya
Mwania, Michael Musango
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Machakos County health facilities have poor healthcare waste segregation, treatment and disposal practices; patients, health workers including waste handlers and the general population are exposed to risks of needle stick injuries and infection of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B&C. All population is exposed to risks associated with furans, dioxins and heavy metals released to the environment through open and crude burning of healthcare waste. World Health Organization recommends supporting and strengthening a health system based on six health system building blocks that includes quality service delivery. The study focused on strengthening the service delivery pillar of health systems in which good health services are expressed as both personal and non-personal quality care, through addressing aspects of safe healthcare waste management (HCWM) herein viewed as non-personal services that directly or indirectly affect patient, health workers and the general population health. The purpose of this study was to determine factors affecting HCWM system in Machakos County. Specific objectives were to determine the healthcare waste management process, health Managers role, human resource factors, and how healthcare waste management policy implementation affect HCWM system in health facilities in Machakos County. Methods: We used survey research design. A sample size of 120 respondents was drawn using both stratified random and purposive sampling techniques. Data was collected using questionnaires and an interview guide. Results: The findings showed that the role of health managers (β2 = .436, P < .001), human resource factors (β3 = .065, P < .002), and healthcare waste management policy implementation (β4 = .275, P < .001) influenced management of healthcare waste system. Conclusions: Health managers’ role had the strongest positive and significant influence on HCWM. Recommendations: i) adoption of safe technologies for treatment and disposal of healthcare waste, ii) refresher trainings on HCWM to all healthcare staff on existing HCWM policies in Kenya, iii) provision of adequate budget to procure enough HCWM commodities, iv) provision of adequate personal protective equipment to all health staff, and v) vaccination of health staff against Hepatitis B.
Health Systems Management Journal