Management of Dental Waste by Practitioners in Nairobi, Kenya..
African Journal of oral Health Volume 2 Numbers 1 & 2 2005: 24-29. : Osamong LA, Gathece LW, Kisumbi BK, Mutave RJ Abstract
ABSTRACTObjective: Dental wastes are material that has been utilized in dental clinics, which are no longerwanted for use and therefore discarded. Improper disposal of these dental wastes can cause harmto the dentist, the people in immediate vicinity of the dentist, waste handlers and general publicand the environment through production of toxins or as by products of the destruction process.This study aims to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practice on management of dentalwastes among dental practitioners in Nairobi, Kenya.Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study of 70 dental practitioners practicing in Nairobi,Kenya.Results: A total of 50 dental practitioners were included in the study. Majority had graduatedbetween 1991-1995. 47.5% had only a bachelors degree, 25% had masters 7.5% had PhD and12.5% had postgraduate diploma. Forty five percent of the respondents indicated they haveattended training on management of dental waste while 89.5% had been attending continuousdental education. Forty-two percent of the respondents worked in public institution while the restwere in private practice. Only 48.7% of the practitioners were aware of the existence of wastemanagement guidelines. Only 64% felt it was important to follow the set guidelines, 5% thought itwas tedious, 2% said they were not practical and the rest were not interested in the guidelines.Eighty-two percent of the respondents said that amalgam was toxic if disposed improperly withonly 10.7% indicating pollution to be a consequence of improper disposal of amalgam. Seventysevenpercent of the respondents did not know the hazardous effects of improper disposal ofamalgam. Only half of the respondents stored waste amalgam under water, 25% said they did notknow how to dispose amalgam. All (100%) knew about occurrence of cross-infection withimproper disposal of bloody waste but only 56.1% said they incinerated bloody body waste while24.4% disposed off bloody waste with general waste 35.7% of the respondents indicated thatsharps were hazardous if improperly disposed. Only 52.4% incinerated their pathological wasted.On expired drugs, 7.3% disposed them off as part of general wastes.Conclusion: There is need for continuous professional development on waste management amongdentists in Kenya.