Peri-Urban Environment, Sanitation and Health - Associated Health Risks in Waste Handling in Prampram, Ghana

Show simple item record Kretchy, J. 2020-12-01T15:42:47Z 2020-12-01T15:42:47Z 2017-10
dc.description PhD. Public Health en_US
dc.description.abstract The peri-urban community of Prampram is characterized by filthy and choked open drains, indiscriminate waste disposal and open defecation. Waste handlers engage in different types of activities such as sweeping, collection, transportation and disposal with little or no personal protection and thus are often confronted with serious public health problems related to their work. The purpose for this study was to assess the different degrees of health risks associated with different activities in waste handling in the peri-urban community of Prampram, Ghana. This study used a mixed method design to quantitatively investigate 280 waste handlers with respect to the activities performed, exposure surfaces to waste, use of personal protective working gear and self reported health outcomes. A qualitative phase of the study involving 22 waste handlers explored the perceptions about health risks associated with waste work. The rationale 'or including the qualitative phase was to triangulate and complement the quantitative phase of the study. Laboratory methods were also used to investigate faecal contamination of hands by the detection of faecal indicator E. coli/Coliforms as well as to determine the incidence rate and intensity of helminthes infections 3 and 6 months post-treatment. The most common self-reported health problems were bodily pains (56.4%), headache (38.6%), fever (35.7%) and diarrhoea (11.4%). There was an association between working with smelling/odorous waste material and reported fever (p < 0.05) as well as contact of exposed bodily surfaces to waste with reported skin disease (p < 0.05). The perception about reporting health problems due to working with smelling waste material was corroborated by one 35-years old female waste handler who collected human faeces from the beach each morning when she explained how inhalation of 'bad air' could lead to health problems such as nausea. Waste handlers whose hands were directly exposed to waste material were 4.2 times (95%CI: AOR 1.4-10.0) more probable to report cough symptoms than those whose hands were not exposed. The odds of reporting upper back pain among waste handlers who performed three activities a day (sweeping, collection and disposal) was 4.1 times (95%CI AOR: 1.6-11.0) greater than those who only swept every day. Waste handlers who swept every day have 70% less risk of developing upper back pain compared to those who performed two activities per day (disposal and collection). The odds of reporting upper back pain was 2.2 times (95%CI AOR: 0.6-8.0) higher among those who transport waste compared to those who sweep. There was a significant difference (p < 0.0001) in the level of faecal contamination of the hands of waste handlers before and after engaging in waste handling activities, by detection of both indicator E. coli and Coliforms. The proportion of waste handlers that tested positive to faecal indicator E. coli was 23.2% (95%CI: 18.4-28.8) The mean log concentrations/level of indicator E. coli among waste handlers was 0.079 ± 1.6 CFUl50ml. There was also a significant difference (x2 = 18.8, p = 0.0086) in the mean log concentration/level of faecal indicator E. coli among the types of waste handling activities. There was a significant difference (p = 0.0083) in the level of faecal indicator E. coli among waste handlers who only engaged in sweeping every day and those who performed two or more waste management activities such as sweeping, collection and disposal. Helminthes infections among waste handlers correlated with the type of waste handling activities based on the likelihood ratio Chi-square test statistic (LR=IS.3, p = 0.033). The mean intensity of helminthes infection among waste handlers 6 months post-treatment with Albendazole (400mg) single oral dosage was 2.8 egg/gram, indicating light intensity whilst the incidence rate of helminthes infections was 1.46% per month. The proportion of waste handlers who experienced light intensity helminthes infection was 4.3% after 6 months post-treatment. Waste handlers who used rubber gloves during work were 80% less likely to acquire helminthes infections compared with those who did not use gloves. The detection of faecal indicator E. coli on hands of waste handlers was corelated with helminthes infections (p < 0.0001) and nine waste handlers (3.2%) tested positive for both indicator E. coli and helminthes. There is an increasing number of waste handlers in the peri-urban community of Prampram engaged in different types of waste handling activities, who also belong to different waste management organizations. These waste handlers have different levels of exposures to waste and reported with different degrees of health outcomes. It was clearly demonstrated by this study that using bare hands to perform waste handling activities increases the likelihood of reported health problems, contamination of hands by faecal material and infection with Trichiuris trichiura. Thus waste handlers experience a burden of disease which is likely to be consequences of their occupation. Private companies and government institutions employing waste handlers in the peri-urban community of Prampram must ensure periodic anti-helminthic treatment of waste handlers (at least every 6 months), provide adequate hand washing and hygiene facilities (soap and water) as well as suitable and affordable personal protective working gear to waste handlers and supervise their use during work. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Peri-Urban Environment en_US
dc.subject Sanitation en_US
dc.subject Health en_US
dc.subject Health Risks in Waste Handling en_US
dc.subject Ghana en_US
dc.title Peri-Urban Environment, Sanitation and Health - Associated Health Risks in Waste Handling in Prampram, Ghana en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search UGSpace


My Account