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Medical Waste Management: A Case Study of the Souss-Massa-Drâa Region, Morocco

Author(s): Adnane Mbarki | Belkacem Kabbachi | Abdelkarim Ezaidi | Mohamed Benssaou

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 04;
Issue: 09;
Start page: 914;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Environment | Health | Healthcare Personnel | Medical Waste | Morocco

Medical waste management is of major concern due to the potentially high risks to both human health and the environment caused by inadequate waste management practices. In Morocco, as in many developing countries, little information is available regarding generation handling, and disposal of medical waste. The specific objective of this study was to analyse the medical waste management practices in the Souss-Massa-Draa region, Morocco. The study was carried out in seven of the twelve hospitals in the region, covering 66.2% of the bed capacity. A total of 219 healthcare personnel and their assistants were included: 35 doctors, 98 nurses, and 86 housekeepers. Site visits, interviews, and survey questionnaires were implemented to collect information regarding different medical waste management aspects, including medical waste generation, separation, collection, storage, transportation, and disposal. The results indicated that the medical waste generation rate ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 Kg/bed-day with a weighted average of 0.53 Kg/bed-day. The percentage of infectious and hazardous wastes in the total medical waste stream was about 30.5%. The remaining 69.5% was general wastes similar in properties to municipal wastes. Concerning waste separation, housekeepers demonstrate a slightly higher knowledge about waste separation, with 49.4% of correct answers, with nurses at 45.7%, and doctors the lowest value at 38.6%. The results about other management aspects indicated that practices in most surveyed hospitals did not comply with the principles stated in Moroccan legislation. Based on the findings, some measures are suggested to improve the present conditions and ensure that potential health and environmental risks of medical waste are minimized.
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