Clinical Liquid Waste Management in Three Ghanaian Healthcare Facilities – A Case Study of Sunyani Municipality (Published)
Clinical Liquid Waste Management (CLWM) has become a huge task for the authorities of health care facilities in Ghana. It is therefore a necessity to ascertain the managerial strategies currently being used in managing this type of waste. The study objectives were to identify the clinical liquid waste management techniques presently being used by the hospitals, estimate their generation rate and to determine the efficiency of their clinical liquid waste treatment system(s). The study employed experimental research method as well as quantitative method involving structured interview and participatory observation triangulated with documentary analysis. The results found different levels of clinical liquid waste generation in sampled health care facilities. From the results, the study revealed that clinical liquid waste is managed using strategies such as segregation, collection, handling, transportation, treatment and disposal.. The Regional Hospital (RH) uses on-site conventional wastewater treatment system located in the hospital premises whilst the Municipal Hospital and S.D.A uses off-site Waste Stabilization Pond (WSP). The results found that different treatment methods employed by sampled hospitals affect the quality of treatment. The results show revealed inefficiency in both treatments facilities. These findings were revealed from results obtained from the microbial analysis of Total Coliform bacteria; Feacal coliform bacteria and heterotrophic bacteria of sampled hospitals; as the results do not meet both the EPA-Ghana and WHO standards. Factors such as unreliable power supply, lack of maintenance, lack of enforcement and effective monitoring from statutory bodies and apathy from health officials were identified as factors that affect proper treatment of liquid waste in the municipality. The findings results suggest an environment problem due to the contamination of treated effluent from the sampled hospitals which is used for agricultural irrigational purposes, drinking and cooking. The study recommend; an urgent remedial measure to prevent outbreak of communicable disease through creation of awareness to educate communities downstream on the need to apply local methods such as boiling.