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Evaluation of Knowledge, Practices, and Possible Barriers Among Healthcare Providers Regarding Medical Waste Management in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Mohammad Abul Bashar Sarker, Md. Harun-Or-Rashid, Tomoya Hirosawa, Md. Shaheen Bin Abdul Hai, Md. Ruhul Furkan Siddique, Junichi Sakamoto, Nobuyuki Hamajima

Department of Healthcare Administration, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2590-2597

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890904

Available online:

Published: 2014-12-09

Background: Improper handling of medical wastes, which is common in Bangladesh, could adversely affect the hospital environment and community at large, and poses a serious threat to public health. We aimed to assess the knowledge and practices regarding medical waste management (MWM) among healthcare providers (HCPs) and to identify possible barriers related to it.
Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during June to September, 2012 including 1 tertiary, 3 secondary, and 3 primary level hospitals in Dhaka division, Bangladesh through 2-stage cluster sampling. Data were collected from 625 HCPs, including 245 medical doctors, 220 nurses, 44 technologists, and 116 cleaning staff who were directly involved in MWM using a self-administered (researcher-administered for cleaning staff), semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: Nearly one-third of medical doctors and nurses and two-thirds of technologists and cleaning staff had inadequate knowledge, and about half of medical doctors (44.0%) and cleaning staff (56.0%) had poor practices. HCPs without prior training on MWM were more likely to have poor practices compared to those who had training. Lack of personal protective equipment, equipment for final disposal, MWM-related staff, proper policy/guideline, and lack of incinerator were identified as the top 5 barriers.
Conclusions: Strengthening and expansion of ongoing educational programs/training is necessary to improve knowledge and practices regarding MWM. The government should take necessary steps and provide financial support to eliminate the possible barriers related to proper MWM.

Keywords: Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Bangladesh, Adult, Health Personnel, Medical Waste, Waste Management