University of Tehran

University of Tehran

A preliminary study of medical waste management in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria

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Courtesy of University of Tehran

Solid waste management (SWM) is a major problem in most developing countries of the world due to its ever growing and endless generation coupled with poor management. In the same vein, medical waste management (MWM) is yet to receive sufficient attention in the overall solid waste management and often times neglected. Though medical waste constitutes a small fraction of the municipal solid waste (MSW), the potential environmental and health hazards could be deleterious if not properly handled, the worst scenario being in developing countries (WHO, 1999). In a survey of MWM from 91 healthcare facilities in the southern Brazil, Da Silva eli at., (2004), found out that aside from sharp waste, little attention was given to the management of other types of medical waste. They reported that the overall management of medical waste was without a perspective for recycling and theft collection was through the municipal collection system. The authors concluded their finding by adjudging that medical waste management situation in the region, though far from being satisfactory was better than what existed in other regions of Brazil. In Africa, the situation appears to be more critical as reports from around the continent indicate poor MWM practices (Leonard, 2003; Manyele, 2003). Manyele (2003), described MWM in Tanzania as being poor, further he posited that the general awareness on issues related to medical waste management was generally lacking among generators and handlers.

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