Knowledge, attitude and practices of health care staff regarding hospital waste handling in tertiary care hospitals of Muzaffarabad, AJK, Pakistan


  • M. Junaid Khan Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, AJK medical College, Muzaffarabad, AJK
  • M. Asim Hamza Department of Ophthalmology, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar, K.P.K
  • Bilal Zafar Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, AJK medical College, Muzaffarabad, AJK
  • Rashid Mehmod AJK medical College, Muzaffarabad, AJK
  • Sharjeel Mushtaq AJK medical College, Muzaffarabad, AJK



Hospital waste management, Healthcare waste, Knowledge, Attitude and practices


Background: Hospital waste management means the management of waste produced in hospitals by using different techniques that will prevent the spread of diseases. Hospital is the place where infectious and non-infectious healthcare waste is being generated and this needs a special precaution for its proper disposal. However, its mismanagement has posed major environmental threats and is now being reported as a serious public health issue worldwide. In developing countries, knowledge, attitude and practices regarding hospital waste management in terms of its segregation, collection, storage, transportation and disposal is limited.

Methods: A cross sectional study using simple convenient sampling was conducted from January to May 2015 at tertiary care hospitals of Muzaffarabad, AJK. A self-designed pretested questionnaire was used. Sample size was 114.  

Results: Mean age of these participants was of 33 years (min 25-maz 41 years) and average work experience was 7 years. Among them, n67 (58%) were male and n47 (42%) were female. n13 (11.4%) were doctors, n68 (60%) were of paramedical staff and n33 (29%) were junior staff. The overall Satisfactory knowledge and attitude score (≥60% answers correct) of doctors was significantly higher than others. Knowledge about the color coding for specific wastes were insignificantly higher among doctors, rather only n4 (30.7%) doctors responded to this question. The overall Satisfactory practice score (≥60% answers correct) of junior staff was higher (94%).

Conclusions: Qualified medical professionals give little importance for hospital waste handling practices evident from lower practice score than the paramedical and lower staff. An important opportunity of possible oversight for hospital waste handling is missed in day to day hospital operation.


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