Policy and practice of health care waste management in community-based care in South Africa.
Health care waste management (HCWM) is a growing concern more especially in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Improper management of health care waste (HCW) has negative effects on the environment and on the health of the people. Unfortunately, no study has been found so far that addresses policy and practice of HCWM in community-based care (CBC) in South Africa. This thesis begins to address HCWM issues through five manuscripts that use various methods and approaches to develop an understanding of HCWM in CBC. The main scripts in this thesis present: 1) a scoping review that highlights the terminologies of HCW, definitions, categories and its classifications; 2) analysis of international and national policies that govern HCW in South Africa; 3) media analysis which explains how the South African media frames the issue of HCWM; 4) results from interviews with policy makers and stakeholders regarding their opinions on the practices of HCW in CBC; 5) results from focus group discussions, informal interviews and participant observations from the community health workers (CHWs) indicating their experiences about HCWM practices. This study is the first to be conducted in CBC. The methodologies used in this study provide useful insights into HCWM and the findings are an addition to the body of literature on HCWM in CBC, environmental health and public health.
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