The waste produced in the course of healthcare activities carries a higher potential for infection and injury than any other type of waste. Inadequate and inappropriate knowledge about handling of healthcare waste may have serious health consequences and a significant impact on the environment as well.Study was conducted to assess awareness about biomedical waste, its hazards and management among health care personnel. The study was a cross sectional questionnaire based survey. A total of 108 health care workers participated in the study. Study subjects included 23 final year medical students, 28 interns, 12 lab. technicians, 37 nursing staff and 8 lab. attenders.The data collection was done through a standard set of questionnaire, which was developed after literature search and review. The answers were recorded as correct or incorrect response to each question. Over all interns and final year medical students had better awareness of BMW than laboratory technicians and staff nurses. Attenders had least awareness about BMW. Awareness of BMW and its hazard, colour coding of bags was good in all groups of heath care workers (>75%). But knowledge regarding storage time of BMW, reporting of injuries and identification of biohazard symbol was poor in all groups. Awareness regarding BMW management is unsatisfactory in health care personnel. Importance of BMW management should be stressed in the study curriculum of medical and paramedical students. A strategy consisting of a practical oriented training programme along with periodical sensitization sessions regarding safe management of BMW for all health care personnel including lab.attenders of hospital is necessary. Strict supervision and surveillance should be followed in day-today hospital waste management activities.
Biomedical waste, Health care workers, Hazards
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