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Hospital waste management in developing countries: A mini review

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • M. Ali
  • W. Wang
  • N. Chaudhry
  • Y. Geng
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Waste Management and Research
Issue number6
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)581-592
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/02/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Health care activities can generate different kinds of hazardous wastes. Mismanagement of these wastes can result in environmental and occupational health risks. Developing countries are resource-constrained when it comes to safe management of hospital wastes. This study summarizes the main issues faced in hospital waste management in developing countries. A review of the existing literature suggests that regulations and legislations focusing on hospital waste management are recent accomplishments in many of these countries. Implementation of these rules varies from one hospital to another. Moreover, wide variations exist in waste generation rates within as well as across these countries. This is mainly attributable to a lack of an agreement on the definitions and the methodology among the researchers to measure such wastes. Furthermore, hospitals in these countries suffer from poor waste segregation, collection, storage, transportation and disposal practices, which can lead to occupational and environmental risks. Knowledge and awareness regarding proper waste management remain low in the absence of training for hospital staff. Moreover, hospital sanitary workers, and scavengers, operate without the provision of safety equipment or immunization. Unsegregated waste is illegally recycled, leading to further safety risks. Overall, hospital waste management in developing countries faces several challenges. Sustainable waste management practices can go a long way in reducing the harmful effects of hospital wastes.