Effects of medical wastes disposal on environment: a case of Mbeya city Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study investigated the impacts of medical wastes disposal on environmental health, in the low-level health facilities of Mbeya City, Tanzania in order to reduce health problems and eliminating potential risks to people’s health, health-care services inevitably create waste that may itself be hazardous to health. The waste produced in the course of health-care activities carries a higher potential for infection and injury than any other type of waste. Wherever it is generated, safe and reliable methods for its handling are therefore essential. Inadequate and inappropriate handling of health-care waste may have serious public health consequences and a significant impact on the environment. Sound management of health-care waste is thus a crucial component of environmental health protection. Health-care activities are a means of protecting health, curing patients and saving lives. But they also generate wastes that 20 percent of which entail risks either of infection, trauma or chemical or radiation exposure. Although the risks associated with hazardous medical waste and the ways and means of managing that waste are relatively well known and described in manuals and other literature, the treatment and elimination methods advocated require considerable technical and financial resources and a legal framework to support it but are often insufficiently worked especially in developing countries. The staff is often unequipped for coping with this task. Poor waste management can jeopardize the care of staff care staff and employees who handle medical waste, patients and their families, and the neighboring population. In addition, the inappropriate treatment or disposal of that waste can lead to environmental contamination or pollution. In favorable contexts, the risks associated with hazardous medical waste can be significantly reduced through simple and appropriate measures. It is recommended that the health-care institutions should ensure that radionuclides are not released to the environment unless the activity released is confirmed to be below the clearance levels. Development and implementation of a comprehensive health-care waste management strategy, within the framework of the medical health facility waste management plan should be enhanced.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RA567.7T34S27)
Medical wastes, Environmental aspects, Mbeya city, Tanzania
Samora, S. (2014) Effects of medical wastes disposal on environment: a case of Mbeya city Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.