Envomed responds to WHO Report on Healthcare Waste in the Context of COVID-19
Envomed welcomes the findings in the World Health Organization (WHO)’s latest report entitled ‘Global Analysis of Healthcare Waste in the Context of COVID-19’ released today, February 1st 2022.
The report highlights a critical issue facing governments, health care operations and the public all around the globe – the treatment of an ever-increasing influx of medical waste, exacerbated by COVID-19. The report sets out to “quantify the additional COVID-19 healthcare waste generated through the UN procurement system, describe current healthcare waste management systems and their deficiencies, and summarize emerging best practices and solutions to reduce the impact of waste on human and environmental health”.
Significantly, the Envomed 80 on-site medical and infectious waste treatment solution has been designed and engineered to solve many of the global problems highlighted by the report.
“Serious public health consequences and deleterious effects on the environment”.
The report confirms fears that the substantial increase in medical waste necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the inefficiency of existing waste treatment processes, is exacerbating an already serious threat to public health and the environment.
The warning issued by the report is stark: “Waste produced from health care activities, from contaminated needles to radioactive isotopes, can cause infection and injury, and inadequate management is likely to have serious public health consequences and deleterious effects on the environment” (pg43).
Increased volume of medical waste putting additional strain on healthcare facilities
The WHO found that the near 8bn vaccinations administered globally by 7/12/21 would generate 144,000 tons of additional vaccine waste. (pg12).
Additionally; “approximately, 97% of plastic waste from tests is incinerated (19). This puts a further burden on already strained waste management systems and increases pollution where incineration is not well controlled”. (pg12).
These of course, are just two items. The report contains further data on the dramatic increase in the production and use of a wide array of hospital PPE which is all beginning to place further strain on a creaking waste management system and ultimately affecting the environment and public health worldwide.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to large increases in healthcare waste, straining under-resourced healthcare facilities and exacerbating environmental impacts from solid waste” it states.
The problem of transportation
Transportation of medical waste from hospitals to off-site incinerators is problematic. Not just because of the increased carbon footprint and the ultimately environmentally damaging incineration process, but also because it leaves room for error and mismanagement of the waste.
Even in Malawi, where a ‘reverse logistics’ system is praised by the report for reducing the distance travelled during the medical waste lifecycle, hazardous waste can still travel up to 690km to reach an incinerator. In other locations which do not have such systems in place, the situation can be even more dangerous “remote, rural facilities, including those in Nepal, often struggle with safe management and treatment of vaccine waste” the report states.
“1 in 3 healthcare facilities globally do not safely manage healthcare waste.”
Among a number of additional fascinating findings, insights and recommendations, Envomed would like to highlight the following significant points from the WHO report:
- The latest available data (from 2019) indicate that 1 in 3 healthcare facilities globally do not safely manage healthcare waste (pg13).
- Evidence on the amount of health care waste generated, the lack of resourcing to safely manage waste, and the incomplete attention to environmental and climate impacts demonstrates that a more holistic approach is needed. (pg31)
- The ultimate aim should be use of non-burn technologies….through either centralized or on-site treatment (pg29)
- Over time, non-burn technologies cost less (compared with advanced incineration) and allow recycling of treated healthcare waste; this can generate resources to fund, in part, operation and maintenance. (pg29)
Be part of the solution: How the Envomed 80 solves these issues
The Envomed80 is a scientifically driven, onsite solution for Medical and Infectious Waste treatment solution. Totally unique in the market today, the Envomed80 shreds and sterilizes medical waste simultaneously, using a scientifically developed and proven technology which has the ability to sterilize medical waste to STAATT level IV.
Offering an extremely powerful & environmentally friendly solution, the Envomed80 can treat 80 litres of infectious and sharps medical waste in under 20 minutes.
The Envomed80 has a lower carbon footprint than alternative treatment solutions on the market today. It was developed by Maabarot Metal Works Ltd, a company with extensive technical knowledge and over 30 years’ experience in providing specialized industrial machinery.
Identifying the market’s need for efficient on-site medical waste treatment facilities, MMW made significant investments in R&D and engineered a solution that is revolutionary from economic, safety and environmental perspectives.
A non-compromise game changing solution, The Envomed80 unit offers fully comprehensive validation using both the solid and liquid phases of real infectious waste, including the presence of protein, hemoglobin, carbohydrate, lipids and insoluble fibers.
Its sterilization process consistently demonstrates a 6 LOG10/ml bacterial spores’ reduction, which complies with STAATT level IV, according to the ISTAATT guidelines (both in the liquid and solid phases). Currently, the Envomed80 is the only on-site medical waste treatment technology approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health due to the above comprehensive validation requirements.
In summary the Envomed 80:
- Facilitates on-site treatment – with no unpleasant odours. Reduces carbon footprint and the margin for error / mismanagement of the waste treatment process
- Treats up to 80 liters of medical and infectious waste in under 20 minutes, allowing hospitals to stay on top of increasing medical waste demands
- Sterilizes waste to STAAT Level IV – removing the need to use burning-solutions
- Offers fully validatable results – removing the danger to public health posed by inefficient waste treatment.
- Discharges solids in the form of easily disposable ‘confetti’ and liquids into sterilized fluids that can be safely drained as municipal waste. Simplifying the waste treatment process, reducing the carbon footprint of the PPE life cycle.
- Hugely reduces waste volume.
David Segev, Envomed CEO commented:
“We are delighted that the World Health Organisation has highlighted the serious issue of ineffective medical waste treatment, recognising that the COVID-19 outbreak has only made the situation more severe.
Having poured years of development into the Envomed 80, we are proud that the findings of the WHO report dovetail perfectly with our belief that fully validatable, environmentally-friendly on-site medical waste treatment is a must for healthcare providers worldwide – if we are to meet this environmental and public health threat head on.
It has never been clearer that fast, effective treatment of medical waste, on-site, is key to solving this global problem”.
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Interviews available with: Mr. David Segev, Envomed CEO
With global headquarters in Israel and a network of distributors all over the world, Envomed has a truly global outlook. Building on Israel’s reputation for driving engineering excellence, Envomed is backed by over 30 years of experience and engineering know-how gained by parent company Maabarot Metal Works Ltd. In fact, the technology behind the Envomed 80 has already been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health. Following its debut at the world’s largest medical trade-fair, MEDICA, in 2019, Envomed will continue to be present at all major medical tradeshows around the world. The Envomed 80 is already beginning to revolutionise the world of on-site medical waste treatment with pilots in Europe, APAC, South America and in Israel which is Envomed’s local market.