Management of solid clinical wastes in some hospitals in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria

  • H Ngouakam
  • U Umo Aniekan
  • AF Onojeta


The generation and management of medical waste in health facilities pose some risks to public health and the environment. A descriptive survey on the characterization and management of clinical waste was conducted in seven selected hospitals in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria to identify the sources and quantity of clinical waste generated in the selected hospitals per day as well as describe the methods used in the management of the wastes. Structured questionnaire, personal on-site observations and in-depth interview of all Unit Heads in the seven health facilities were used to gather data. One hundred and seventy four (174) copies of questionnaire were distributed to all the Heads of Department and Head Orderlies in the seven hospitals. Seven major categories of waste were identified and a daily average of 113.42 kg of solid clinical waste was generated in the seven facilities. Generally, open dumping, open burning and burying were most commonly adopted methods of waste management. Plastic bins with lid were popularly used for waste collection. There were physical, chemical and biological hazards associated with these wastes. The health workers displayed ignorance of existence of any policy on clinical waste management, neither was there waste management teams in the hospitals. Training and retraining programs were rarely organized for the hospital staff. There is an urgent need to establish and enforce appropriate policies and legislations on clinical waste management in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Keywords: Hospitals, clinical waste, public health, Nigeria

International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 6(1): 92-100, 2010

Author Biographies

H Ngouakam
Department of Public Health, Madonna University, Elele, Rivers State, Nigeria
U Umo Aniekan
School of Health Technology, Etinan, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
AF Onojeta
Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0794-4713