Challenges of waste management in a Nigerian leper colony
Coker, A. O., Booth, C., Adeshiyan, R. A. and Khatib, J. M. (2008) Challenges of waste management in a Nigerian leper colony. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 65 (2). pp. 177-189. ISSN 0020-7233
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207230701831202
Quantities and types of solid wastes generated at Ogbomosho leprosarium (Oyo State, Nigeria) have been investigated. Data collection, through waste sampling and analysis, interviews, questionnaire surveys and field observations, was conducted between August and November 2006. Results indicate a notably low mean waste generation rate of 241.5 g/h/d, which included bandages, paper, food waste, animal waste, wood ash, yard trimmings, amongst others. There is no national policy on waste handling. Domestic waste is mixed with biomedical waste without sorting. Moreover, waste-handlers deal with waste materials by hand and without protective clothing or gloves, which needlessly exposes them to greater health risks. Similarly, primitive hygiene facilities (e.g. pit latrines, plus inadequate and intermittent water supplies) constitute a health risk to patients, staff and visitors. Recommendations include i) provision of separate waste receptacles at generation points to facilitate proper sorting and segregation; ii) adequate training and protective clothing for waste handlers; and iii) national and international action for leprosy patients housed in these ‘out of sight, out of mind’ communes.
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