Background Nations have faced significant challenges with the COVID-19 related biomedical waste since its outbreak. Before the pandemic, Indian hospitals typically generated 500g of BMW per bed each day, which has now risen to about 2.5-4 kg per bed per day. Proper BMW aims to reduce waste generation, ensures efficient collection, handling and safe disposal that it controls infection and improves safety for the medical professionals. Hence, the present study was conducted to assess the level of knowledge among medical professionals regarding biomedical waste segregation , transport and treatment and thereafter provide constructive suggestions to reduce mismanagement practices.
Methodology An e-survey was done to assess the knowledge and awareness of management of Biomedical Waste generated due to Covid-19 among Medical Professionals (students, residents and consultants) of tertiary care hospital of North India.
Result The average knowledge score about BMW waste generated due to Covid-19 was found to be: for segregation - 27.46%, 59.615%, and 49.8%; transport of waste from site of generation to the site of disposal- 63.66%, 89.1% and 95.2% ; disposal of waste generated- 29%, 71.96%, and 68.24% in students, residents, and consultants respectively. Overall, the knowledge score was 41.4%, 67.98%, and 61.34% among the students, residents and consultants respectively. We found that participants with greater years of experience (residents and consultants) had better knowledge compared to that of the students(p<0.05).
Discussion Our study found that the mean score was 56.9% which is comparably more than the knowledge score of few Low and Middle Income Countries but less than the knowledge score of some European countries. Studies have found that the chances of infection directly correlates with the low level of knowledge. This underlines that training aspects of health-care waste management should be strengthened, not only for the practising medical professionals but also of the students so that the current, existing, and future regulations are practiced diligently and uniformly. Hence, it is important that we strengthen the training aspect of medical professionals. Periodic evaluation and assessment should become routine to enforce adherence to waste management.