Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 23

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 23.1 (tests Learning Outcome 23.1)

Which of the following statements is false? In each case, explain why it is incorrect.

A  Healthcare waste contains hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

B  Infectious healthcare waste is kept in red containers.

C  Chemical disinfection involves treating waste with 0.5% chlorine solution for 10 minutes by immersing in an autoclave.


A is true. Healthcare waste does contain both hazardous and non-hazardous waste,

B is false. Infectious waste should be stored in a yellow container.

C is false. Chemical disinfection does involve treatment with chlorine solution of 0.5% concentration for 10 minutes but an autoclave is a steam sterilising device that relies on temperature to disinfect.

SAQ 23.2 (tests Learning Outcome 23.2)

Which items in the list below are classed as pathological waste?

Syringes, used swab, placenta, used gauze, expired drugs, body parts, paper packaging, blood.


Placenta, body parts and blood are all pathological wastes.

SAQ 23.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 23.3)

Gadissa, a local farmer, had an accident last week while working in his fields and cut his leg. He came to the Health Post immediately afterwards and you treated the wound with a dressing and bandage. Today he is returning to the Health Post to have the dressing changed. What should you do before examining his wound? What should you do with the used dressing?


You should wash your hands thoroughly before removing the old bandage. You may also want to put on gloves. Pick up a sterilised set of instruments, such as scissors, to remove the dressing. You may find the used dressing is blood-stained. It should be handled in the same way as infectious waste because, although Gadissa may be perfectly healthy, all waste that has been in contact with body fluids should be considered to be potentially infectious. You should immediately place the used dressing in a yellow waste container or bag. Keep the container tightly closed. At the end of the day, you should dispose of the container in an incinerator, if available, or burn it in the refuse pit before you leave the Health Post.

Read Case Study 23.1 and then answer the questions that follow it.

Case Study 23.1  A story of a busy rural Health Post

Hirut, a Health Extension Practitioner in Robit rural kebele, is working in a Health Post. One busy day, the Health Post was full of clients for family planning, children who need immunization, and children having diarrhoeal problems. Hirut started her day by giving health education for mothers on the importance of family planning, hygiene and environmental sanitation. Her workmate, Almaz, was preparing the schedule for their subsequent activities. Because of the workload, the Health Extension Practitioners could not go home for lunch on time. They were too exhausted. At this time, Hirut was giving an injection of Dipo Provera to a woman. She accidentally pricked her finger with the used needle while trying to recap it.

SAQ 23.4 (tests Learning Outcome 23.3 and 23.4)

What did Hirut do that was procedurally wrong? What should she have done?


Hirut should not have tried to recap the needle. She should have put it in to the safety box immediately.

Summary of Study Session 23