Disposal of health facility waste in landfill sites and its effects on the people of Gbalahi community in the Tamale metropolis
Authors: Hawawu Hussein, Baba A.N Musah and Emelia Guo
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Waste management has become a thorny issue among many cities and towns managers. The use of landfills as refuse dumps is gradually extending the problems of health hazards even to the peri-urban. Most often than not children who scavenge and play with dangerous items such as used needles, infusion sets among others are invariably the victims of disease contaminations. Therefore, this study is premised on the researchers’ personal observation that children who loiter around the landfill site are found playing with used needles, infusion sets and other waste products. In this light, the study sought to dig into the reasons that account for this by looking at the existing waste management practices used by some selected hospitals and the effects of landfill site on the Gbalahi community. Data from this research were collected using questionnaires and interview schedules to assess the perceptions of people of Gbalahi community about the effects the landfill site on them. Field observations were also used to obtain some of the necessary information. The field data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 17. The study exposed the poor management state of medical waste of health facilities (hospitals) in the Tamale metropolis. The findings indicated that the systems put in place for waste management at the three health facilities were poorly executed and needs to be improved. The findings further indicated that the community found the land more useful (P<005) for their livelihood support (agriculture and hunting) before than after landfill construction.
Key words: Effects, landfill, health facility, waste, Gbalahi community, Tamale metropolis