Background and objectives: Biomedical waste has been a growing concern due to increased awareness in public regarding HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and exposure to other potential infectious diseases. Good BMW disposal practices lead to reduction in medical expenditure, unsightly scenes at various disposal bins and dumping sites. Improper biomedical waste management practices and indiscriminate disposal of hospital waste causes spread of illness leading to financial burden to society. The money saved by reduction in hospital acquired infections is much more than spent on control of hospital acquired infections. Therefore it is necessary to educate the staff, patients and community about the management of the infectious waste. The present study was designed to assess the awareness regarding biomedical waste in health care workers at a tertiary care Government hospital, Dhule (Maharashtra). Methods: Shri Bhausaheb Hire Government Medical College and Hospital is a 545 bedded tertiary care teaching Government hospital situated in rural area of Maharashtra at Dhule where per day approximately 90 Kg biomedical waste is generated .The present cross-sectional study was conducted during 1st August 2011 to 30th September 2011. Knowledge and practices about BMW was assessed among 153 health care workers (81 nursing staff, 35 laboratory technicians and 37 sweepers) handling BMW in the tertiary care Government hospital at Dhule. Results: It was found that only 70.6% of the health care workers were aware of biomedical waste management and 50.3 % had undergone training. 72.5 % of the health care workers were aware of 3 color coded bags used for collection of BMW. In the study only 41.8% of the workers were vaccinated against shepatitis B and 81.7% had received tetanus toxoid vaccine. Conclusion: For proper handling and disposal of BMW, all health care providers must undergo regular training in BMW management. [Patil S et al NJIRM 2013; 4(4) : 74-79]
Health care workers (HCW), Biomedical waste (BMW), Training programs, and color coded bags.