The aim of this study is to assess the awareness of biomedical waste management in dental students of various dental colleges of Nepal.
A structured pretested questionnaire was used among 434 (323 males and 111 females) undergraduate dental students of five different dental colleges of Nepal. First part of the questionnaire was used to describe demographic profile of the participants. Second part of the questionnaire assessed the knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding biomedical waste management. Chi-square test was applied to find out the association between different responses obtained from different colleges.
Majority (91.82%) of participants had a positive attitude towards safe management of biomedical waste. Regarding the knowledge of BMW management policies, majority of the students (83.1% to 98.9%) had positive attitude towards the safe management of biomedical waste, whereas more than 50% of the students were unaware of the guidelines laid down by Government of Nepal. Regarding biomedical waste disposal technique in the hospital, only 29.9% to 79.8% are aware; this shows that there is lack of strict protocol in the BMW management. Association between different responses and colleges for “improper waste management causes various health hazards” ranged from 93.3% to 98.9%.
There exists a lacuna in the knowledge and practice of biomedical waste management among the undergraduate dental students in Nepal. Since the students had positive attitude towards addressing this concern, workshops and trainings related to proper biomedical waste management would be a step forward towards attaining a healthy environment for the future.