Open Environmental Sciences




(Discontinued)

ISSN: 1876-3251 ― Volume 10, 2018
REVIEW ARTICLE

A Review of Medical Waste Management in South Africa



Olaniyi FC1, *, Ogola JS2, Tshitangano TG1
1 Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
2 School of Environmental Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

Abstract

Background:

Poor medical waste management has been implicated in an increase in the number of epidemics and waste-related diseases in the past years. South Africa is resource-constrained in the management of medical waste.

Objectives:

A review of studies regarding medical waste management in South Africa in the past decade was undertaken to explore the practices of medical waste management and the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

Method:

Published articles, South African government documents, reports of hospital surveys, unpublished theses and dissertations were consulted, analysed and synthesised. The studies employed quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods and documented comparable results from all provinces.

Results:

The absence of a national policy to guide the medical waste management practice in the provinces was identified as the principal problem. Poor practices were reported across the country from the point of medical waste generation to disposal, as well as non-enforcement of guidelines in the provinces where they exit. The authorized disposal sites nationally are currently unable to cope with the enormous amount of the medical waste being generated and illegal dumping of the waste in unapproved sites have been reported. The challenges range from lack of adequate facilities for temporary storage of waste to final disposal.

Conclusion:

These challenges must be addressed and the practices corrected to forestall the adverse effects of poorly managed medical waste on the country. There is a need to develop a medical waste policy to assist in the management of such waste.

Keywords: Medical wastes, South Africa, Waste management, Practices, Challenges, Policy.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 10
First Page: 34
Last Page: 45
Publisher Id: TOENVIRJ-10-34
DOI: 10.2174/1876325101810010034

Article History:

Received Date: 9/4/2018
Revision Received Date: 18/5/2018
Acceptance Date: 24/5/2018
Electronic publication date: 20/6/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 FC et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


* Address correspondence to this author Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa; Tel: +27612177991; E-mail: foluolanyi@yahoo.com



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