The quadruple burden of diseases, early discharge from hospital and hospital at home have resulted in home-based care services becoming a requirement in South Africa. These home-based care services generate a significant amount of health care risk waste that is mismanaged. More attention is given to the health care risk waste generated in hospitals and clinics than to health care risk waste generated by home-based caregivers. Therefore, this study investigates the health care risk waste management practices by home-based caregivers. The study adopted a mixed research approach, qualitative and quantitative methods, using a literature review, interviews, and questionnaires as means of data collection. Results show that there are different types of health care risk waste generated as a result of different activities performed by home-based caregivers, but that the waste was found to be managed in an unsafe manner. The majority of households receiving home-based care did not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets, running water and waste removal services, aggravating the issue of health care risk waste mismanagement. The study recommends a new policy framework that will lead to safe management practices of generated health care risk waste to be adopted by home-based caregivers.
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