Global Healthcare Waste Project

Natalie Marketing Manager 09.09.2019

The waste generate by healthcare facilities poses adverse risks on the environment and public health when not managed properly. One example is contaminated sharps, exposing healthcare employees from across the spectrum, the population, waste workers and waste pickers, to blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B & C.

Image: Waste picker from a dumpsite in Nairobi (taken from https://www.gefmedwaste.org)

In 2009, a review was published indicating that Medical Waste management in 40 lower – mid income countries threatens to seriously risk public health. It was found that in these countries, they suffer from increased waste, unaffordable and inaccessible treatment solutions, insufficient funds, poor infrastructure to name a few reasons.

In 2011, a report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council of the U.N. General Assembly, voiced major concerns about improper management and disposal of Medical Waste.

The UNDP GEF Project on Global Medical Waste is tackled this issue of the spread of blood-borne infection as a result of improper management of Medical Waste whilst taking into account the environmental impact and risks associated with the incineration of Medical Waste.

The overall objective of this project, was to promote “Best Environmental Practices and Best Available Technologies for the management of healthcare waste” and to reduce harmful releases from the medical sector.

It was concluded that through correct interventions, the project has the ability to reduce the release of harmful chemicals and improve the entire healthcare waste management chain. Reducing the spread of infections and protecting the environment and public health.

The full review can be found here:
Global Healthcare Project


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