BIOMEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT AWARENESS AMONG HEALTH SCIENCE STUDENTS AT QATAR UNIVERSITY
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Introduction: Biomedical waste is any kind of waste that contains infectious or potentially infectious products that are generated during diagnosis, treatment, or research. At Qatar University (QU), the production of waste is growing proportionately to the number of students joining the university, and numbers of research performed at QU at different research labs and centers. Inadequate management of this waste may lead to catastrophic consequences. Therefore, the aims of this study are: (1) to evaluate QU student's knowledge and attitude regarding waste management regulations, (2) to understand the main determinants influencing safe handling of biomedical waste. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a constructed questionnaire was conducted among QU-Health cluster at QU. Statistical analysis was performed using SSPS software. Results: A total of 257 responses were received, however only 246 were suitable for analysis. Surprisingly, only 9.3 % (23/246) of the respondents reported being fully aware of waste management, and only 39.4% (97/246) picked the correct answer regarding the duration beyond which biomedical waste should not be stored. A very few participants (5.7%) reported that they have full awareness of the authorized agencies by the government which collect biomedical waste from clinical sites. When respondents were asked to identify the correct color-code (yellow) for the biomedical waste to be autoclave-disinfected, only 41.1% (101/246) correctly answered the question. Regarding their recommended actions to improve waste management awareness, attending workshops and conferences was selected by 79.3% (195/246) of participants. The majority (93.9%, 231/246) thought that it is highly recommended to understand about the management of biomedical waste and was interested to join workshops to improve their knowledge. Conclusion: This survey showed a clear gap in the knowledge and awareness of the waste management among QU-Health cluster students. Therefore, continuous training and awareness campaigns are still required at all levels, and there is a need for more focus on the regular monitoring of these students.
- Biomedical Sciences [41 items ]