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Environmental Education for Healthcare Professionals with Reference to Biomedical Waste Management -A Case Study of a Hospital in Lucknow, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Environmental Science, University of Lucknow, Lucknow, INDIA
  • 2Programme Specialist, Ecological and Earth Sciences, UNESCO, New Delhi, INDIA
  • 3Centre for Environment Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Mumbai, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 1, Issue (5), Pages 69-75, December,22 (2012)

Abstract

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors in India undergoing rapid transition. While it is a basic requirement of human being, it also acts as a source of life threatening diseases and toxins. The wastes generated from healthcare establishments pose serious threat to the environment and the people associated with it such as healthcare professionals, workers, patients as well as the general community. Environment education of healthcare professionals can help in developing right kind of attitude and behaviour towards healthcare services particularly the management of the Bio Medical Waste (BMW). The present study focuses on BMW management system in a hospital with special reference to environment education. The study was conducted through questionnaire, surveys, and interviews with the hospital administration, doctors, nurses, technicians and other personnel involved in the management of generated wastes. Observation techniques were also used to verify the authenticity of the information given by the respondents. The study results revealed that 58.3% respondents were aware of the legislation applicable to BMW management and had attended training programme on it. Majority of respondents (91.6%) including doctors, paramedical, and auxiliary staff believed that the proper management of BMW was a team work and that safe management efforts by hospital would increase the financial burden while 16.6% of them felt that it was an extra burden on their work. The knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding BMW was found to be insufficient among all the three categories. Overall, the doctors had better KAP than paramedical and auxiliary staff. Paramedical staff had poor knowledge about the subject. The attitude of paramedical staff was very high among all three categories as 39.2%. Some 31.8% doctors were doing good practices than paramedical and auxiliary staff. It may be concluded that there is an urgent need to train and educate the doctors and the staff to adopt effective waste management practices as well as concerted efforts are needed to evolve a continuing education programme for all healthcare personnel to make them aware about safe and effective management of BMW.

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