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Medical waste management at three hospitals in Jenin district, Palestine

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Abstract

Medical wastes are considered hazardous because they may possess infectious agents and can cause unsafe effects on the environment and human health. This study is to analyze and evaluate the current status of medical waste management at Jenin’s district in light of medical waste control regulations recommended by the World Health Organization. The results demonstrated that the average hazardous healthcare waste generation rate ranges from 0.54 to 1.82 kg/bed/day with a weighted average of 0.78 kg/bed/day. There was no established waste segregation of healthcare waste types in all hospitals, and these wastes were finally disposed of in a centralized municipal sanitary landfill, namely Zahrat Al-Finjan. The results suggest that there is a need for activation and enforcement of medical waste laws. This can be achieved through cooperation among key actors: Ministry of Health, Environmental Quality Authority, Ministry of Local Government, and Non-Governmental Organizations working in related fields. Additional remediation measures proposed to tackle the problematic areas of medical waste management in Jenin’s district hospitals are addressed. Some recommendations to minimize potential health and environmental risks of medical waste are also introduced.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the English language revision conducted kindly by Michelle Ade from the United States.

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Correspondence to Issam A. Al-Khatib.

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Al-Khatib, I.A., Khalaf, AS., Al-Sari, M.I. et al. Medical waste management at three hospitals in Jenin district, Palestine. Environ Monit Assess 192, 10 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-7992-0

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