Critical Success Factors of Medical Waste Management Implementation in Healthcare Facilities in Nigeria: A Case Study

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Timothy Kurannen Baaki
Mohamad Rizal Baharum
Farid Wajdi Akashah


Medical waste management (MWM) in developing countries such as Nigeria continue to lag in the development and implementation of successful MWM programs. The concentration of research on management practices, waste generation and characterization, disposal practices implies very little attention has been given to understanding the factors that are critical to implementing successful MWM programs. The aim of this study is therefore to identify critical factors of MWM success in developing countries, and assess the recognition and implementation of these factors toward achieving MWM goals in healthcare facilities (HCFs) in Benue State, Nigeria. This study adopted a case study approach. Factors critical to MWM success were identified from literature and validated through key informant interviews conducted across four (4) case study HCFs. The study found that, training, sensitization and awareness was considered the most critical factor, followed by environmental legislation in compliance with international environmental rules/regulations; and specific and elaborate regulations with regard to medical waste. The third most critical factors were financing and investment; infrastructure; and adequate and efficient workforce. It was found that implementation of the critical factors at the HCFs was poor. Issues contributing to poor implementation include lack of awareness on existing medical waste management guidelines; lack of enforceable national policy or regulation on medical waste management; inadequate finance among others. This stresses the need for increased participation at both internal (HCF), and external (ministry) levels in creating awareness on the risk potential of medical wastes and existing guidelines to encourage acceptable practices, and enactment of specific legislation dealing with MWM.


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