African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1126

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of health care waste generation rates in public, faith-based and private health facilities in Douala, Littoral Region of Cameron

Noela E Kazeem
  • Noela E Kazeem
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P. O. Box-63 Buea, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Veronica E Manga
  • Veronica E Manga
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P. O. Box-63 Buea, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 21 October 2023
  •  Accepted: 18 December 2023
  •  Published: 31 January 2024

Abstract

Healthcare wastes are potentially dangerous to both humans and the environment due to their unique characteristics. The quantity generated continues to increase in varying proportions across different healthcare facilities, partly based on ownership and management styles, which represent significant constraints on healthcare delivery. This study assessed healthcare waste generation rates and management systems in eleven healthcare facilities (representing three types of hospitals) in Douala, the Littoral Region of Cameroon. Data were collected through a quantitative survey, using questionnaires and were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. Comparatively, more waste was generated in Public Hospitals (2257.52 kg) than in Private Hospitals (831.2 kg) and Faith-Based Hospitals (789 kg). The median quantity of waste generated/bed/day by Private Hospitals was greater than that generated by Faith-Based and Public Hospitals, with values of 0.22 > 0.19 > 0.09 kg/bed/day, respectively. Similarly, the median quantities of waste generated/patient/day stood at 0.31 > 0.11 > 0.09 kg/patient/day for private, faith-based, and public hospitals, respectively. The linear regression model used for predicting waste generation rates by outpatients yielded R2 values in order of 0.9732, 0.9298, and 0.7275 for Private, Public, and Faith-Based Hospitals, respectively. This indicates that the number of outpatients accounts for 97, 92, and 72% of the total variance explained in solid waste generation in the hospitals. The quantity of hazardous waste ranged from 43.63 to 81.4%. In conclusion, the total hazardous waste generated is higher than the nonhazardous waste in the healthcare facilities.

 

Key words: Douala Cameroon, Healthcare facilities, healthcare waste, waste generation, waste composition, general waste, hazardous waste.