Nigeria: Country Doesn’t Have Health Care Waste Management Plan – USAID

Nigeria does not have health care waste management plan thus putting its citizens at the risk of infecting blood related diseases, the United States Agency for International Development [USAID], Country Director, said in Abuja weekend.

Health care wastes are ones driven from used syringes, scissors and other hospital wastes that need to be disposed after use because of their risk to humans and the environment.

However, Dr. Abimbola Soyande told newsmen after her team’s courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, the country does not have any plan for health care waste management.

Said she: “Right now, the waste management of the country is in limbo because we don’t have a plan. We don’t have any policy for healthcare waste especially our wastes from hospitals are just mixed with municipal waste. And that means the whole community is at risk of infecting HIV, hepatitis and other blood related illnesses.

Soyande said the purpose of their visit is to intimate the Minister on their efforts to partner the Ministry to develop some documents towards having a proper healthcare waste management in the country.

She said: “we have been working with the Ministries of Environment, Health and other partners to develop three major documents. These are Healthcare Waste Management Guideline, Healthcare Waste Management Policy and Healthcare Waste Management Implementation Plan.”

According to her, the project started in 2002 by the Ministry of Environment where USAID, under a project called Making Medical Injection Safer, helped them in capacity building and technical support.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, assured that the documents will be presented to the Federal Executive Council [FEC] for consideration and adoption.

Source – Daily Trust

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21 responses to “Nigeria: Country Doesn’t Have Health Care Waste Management Plan – USAID

  1. Tumusiime Kenneth

    Iam a waste management consultant in Uganda and have been involved in several awareness programs in the area of waste management. Nowadays i have been running trainings on plastic waste management and i have discovered that most hospital plastic waste is PVC the most dangerous plastics that release dioxins when burnt. I feel people need to have a better understanding on management of plastic waste in relation to hospital waste management. I feel i should be part of the movement in bringing a change in the area of health care waste.Recently, i trained all the nurse managers of Mulago Hospital(Uganda’s National Refferal Hospital) on health care waste management.

    I have also found it so important to do awareness on radios and televisions for some people that can not easily be reached i.e. private medical practitioners.Thanks

  2. Engr.(mrs) O A MOkuolu

    I am a master trainer in health care waste management. I have had the opportunity of training hundreds of medical practitioners and waste handlers on same. I believe the waste management plan for Nigeria should begin at the Hospital facility level.Most Health Care Facilities in Nigeria do not have proper plans for the management of their wastes . Thank You

  3. DADA AYOKUNLE CHRISTOPHER

    The issue of medical waste management is very important especially as it portends serious public health implication. In a bid to seeking solution to the nation’s waste management crisis, care should however be made to avoid isolating medical wastes from the whole lot. As we are all aware of the fact that medical wastes still end up in muncipal ‘refuse bins’ or dumpsites, nnce a consolidated municipal waste management progam is put in place, it will inevitably cater for all other sources of wastes inclusing those from the medical sector. As much as I support an action plan for medical wastes, I solocit that whatever approach intended to be used for this calamitous situation should be holistic, giving careful consideration to all other hitherto ignored yet important variables.

  4. I have been involved in Healthcare Waste collection and Training in Lagos State. I support the call for a holistic approach to Healthcare Waste Management (HCWM). Worldwide, the process has shifted from concern for Medical/Clinical Waste to catering for all wastes from healthcare facilities due to their potential to cause harm to people and the environment.
    The lack of framework for the proper management and of HCW is a very worrisome issue. A draft for the HCW Plan has been prepared and it addresses HCWM at all levels i.e. Primary to Tertiary leves of Healthcare and includes all types of waste from Healthcare Facilities i.e. domestic/municipal, sharps, pathological pharmaceutical, chemical e.t.c. It has since been prepared but is yet to be fine tuned and passed into law.
    Perhaps, if a sponsor is sought for the bill who is member of the Federal Executive Council [FEC] , he/she would be more involved and push for speady adoption.

  5. Dada Ayokunle, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

    This is indeed a positive development. I am quite optimistic that the proposed draft will also bear in mind the incorporation of management options that are implementable especially in remote areas where the ‘rural-urban’ divide tend to pose problems for previously enacted policies.

  6. Kenneth Tumusiime

    As a Waste Management Consultant, i feel that there is need for all medical centres to have waste management plans as a unit so as to enable supervisors know how each centre deals with waaste.This can assist the supervisors to know who does not comply incase the medical waaste is found mixed with the rest of the waste.Thanks and keep up the move.

  7. Dada Ayokunle, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

    I agree with your submission on the call for additional waste management plans at the hospital level. But I must confess that if supervisors need to know who does not comply whenever medical waste is found mixed with the rest of the waste, then the ‘producers” of the wastes should be known. This obviously demands the need for a data capturing system that compiles as exclusively as possible at local, state and federal levels, the list, location and managers of these medical centres in the nation. Then we can commence brainstorming on how to implement on an inclusive platform whatever management option is arrrived at.

  8. Dr. Ayika Emenike

    Great steps Dr Adeola, could you send a summary of the current HCWM plan draft, our project involves HCWM in major cities of developing countries?

  9. Kenneth Tumusiime

    Dear Dada Ayokunle and Dr Adeola.Thanks very much your contributions.Concerning the supervisors role in medical waste management, i totally agree with you that there is need for a data capturing system especially on existing medical facilities across the whole region, and to also ensure that all the people running those facilities get notification of the upcoming plans.

    The importance of ensuring that all medical centres have got waste management plans is because the plan can tell the supervisor how the centres are managing their waste.When it comes to the point of disposal on the plan, there is need to ensure that every medical centre is linked to a waste collector who should have evidence of where the medical waste is disposed.This can be easily monitored when there are specific centres established for treatment of medical waste.

    Concerning other waste that is generated at the medical centres, there is great need for sorting of waste at the point of generation so that it is easy for recyclers and those who need organic waste for manure.

    The other weakness that i have found with waste collectors in developing countries is the tendency of employing uneducated staff to manage the waste.It is actually the job for those who have not gone to school and it becomes very hard to manage the medical waste effectively.For such a class of people, there is need for deliberate training of such staff on how to manage medical waste as well as importance of using protective gears.In the two countries of Rwanda and Uganda where iam working from as a Waste Prevention Consultant, i found this problem or weakness so common.There is also inadequate supervision.

    Finally, the nurses in hospitals and other medical centres have a role of continuous sensitization of the patients especially in-patients on how to sort waste.Why there is need for continuous sensitization is because every day new patients come in with their behavoiurs that are not compartible with the systems in place.In line with that, governments should not only focus on public hospitals/medical centres but to also focus on the private centres.Thanks for your contributions.I will be glad to hear more from you.

  10. Kenneth Tumusiime

    Dear Dada Ayokunle and Dr Adeola.Thanks very much your contributions.Concerning the supervisors role in medical waste management, i totally agree with you on the need for a data system especially on existing medical facilities across the whole region, and to also ensure that all the people running those facilities get notification of the upcoming plans.

    The importance of waste management plans in place is to ensure that the centres manage their waste in a proper way.When it comes to the point of disposal on the plans, there is need for every medical centre to be linked to a waste collector who should have evidence of where the medical waste is disposed.This can be easily monitored when there are specific centres established for treatment of medical waste.

    Concerning other waste that is generated at the medical centres, there is great need for sorting of waste at the point of generation so that it is easy for recyclers and those who need organic waste for manure.

    The other weakness that i have found with waste collection companies in developing countries is the tendency of employing uneducated staff to manage the waste.It is actually the job for those who have not gone to school and it becomes very hard to manage the medical waste effectively.For such a class of people, there is need for deliberate training on how to manage medical waste as well as importance of using protective gears.In the two countries of Rwanda and Uganda where iam working from as a Waste Prevention Consultant, i found this problem or weakness so common.There is also inadequate supervision of the waste collectors while on their job.

    Finally, the nurses in hospitals and other medical centres have a role of continuous sensitization of the patients especially in-patients on how to sort waste.Why there is need for continuous sensitization is because every day new patients come in with their behavoiurs that are not compartible with the systems in place.In line with that, governments should not only focus on public hospitals/medical centres but to also focus on the private centres.Thanks for your contributions.I will be glad to hear more from you.

  11. Kenneth Tumusiime

    Please ignore the first message sent on 13th January 2009 at 9:05pm because it was sent before editting.Just take the one at 10:45pm same date because it is editted for public consumption.

  12. Hello Dr. Ayika, i only have a hard copy of the draft of the Healthcare Waste Management Plan. Hello Kenneth; waste management jobs in developing countries are considered blue-collared jobs so the tendency is for uneducated/semi-literate staff to take these up. The onus is on the employer to educate and train their staff on proper waste management procedures

  13. There is an outbreak of Cholera (simultaneous frequent watery stooling and vomiting with or without abdominal pains) in Ife Central Local Government Area, Nigeria. Residents and visitors are hereby advised to take the following precautions:
    1. Washing of hands with soap and water before eating and after visiting the toilet and as often as necessary.
    2. Cover all drinks and food tightly to deny access to files.
    3. In the interim, avoid cooked foods, drinks like ‘pure water’, Palm-Wine, Zobo Drink, Fruits and Vegetables, Soya Milk, Kunu and Suya from questionable sources especially Sabo, Ile-Ife.
    4. Boil your drinking water if in doubt.
    5. Rush suspected cases to the nearest Hospital.
    6. Don’t defaecate in open space and river banks.
    7. Notify appropriate health agencies of any suspected Public Health Nuisance that may contribute to the spread of the disease.

  14. I am environmental manager from THE CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANGEMENT AND CONTROL (CEMAC), UNEC.
    medical wastes are among most hazardous wastes you can think about, it has to with human tissues and bloods.
    It is an easy means of contracting all sorts of infections such as HIV AIDS and other infections. I am also of the opinion that health care waste management policy should be put in place in nigeria.And there should be proper emforcement and implementation .

  15. Respected Sir,

    I have complited my HEALTH CARE WASTE MANAGEMENT COURSE . now i want waste disposal officers job in any hospital. please healp me.
    dr ahaduz zaman
    mobile no +91 9854565166
    address; vill & po Bhella,
    dist Barpeta,
    State; Assam
    country; INDIA

    • Send your CV to plawaste@gmail.com, and we will look at it and get back to you. We run a plastic recycling company but also have work that we do for health care facilities in the area of waste management consultancy. We are based in Uganda and are members of Uganda Manufacturers’ Association. MD-Plawaste Recycling Company Limited, Mbarara, Uganda

  16. martins olajide

    jide martins
    this alert cannot be far from the truth. there is still no HCWM plan in place in Nigeria even as at today. the country already has some experts who have been involved with building capacity in this area. nigeria is also a member of an organization refered to as ALCO-Abidjan Lagos Corridor Organization which along with World Bank sponsored some training programs on HCWM among the 5 nation members in 2007. what needs to be done right now is to intensify training at national level and assign responsibility on completion of these training. once this is done we can then begin to assess compliance and conduct process evaluation. all these would have to be done along with efforts to design the HCMW guidelines, policy and. other other implementation plans. one authority stands out in nigeria, prof. shridar, UCH, Ibadan, he is always available

  17. Good day, I am Xolani Beyi from South Africa, I have been following the article and comments thereof and indeed it is extremely concerning that a country as big as Nigeria (with a population 5 times that of South Africa) still does not a proper HCWM policy in place. I have a medical waste management business (Genesis Waste Technologies PTY LTD.) responsible for transporting and disposing of HCW in Cape Town city of S.A. South Africa has adopted really good policies, although they need to redefined and i believe we could learn a lot from each other.

    • There is need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to actually navigate a direction on this issue. Nearly every 3months one immunization programme or another is taking place in the country, yet management of the leftover of the injections and other sharps re inadequately carterd for, thus exposing communities, health workers and clients to a greater risk of more potent disease infections. A visit to most of these health care centers will attest to this fact. The GON thru FMOH must rise up in partnership wt donor organization to organize trainings and develop workplan on HCWM and policies for the country.

  18. Dear All

    We are an European based company looking for experienced and highly motivated Health Care Professionals to act as facilitators on the following area

    1 Healthcare Waste Management
    2 Leadership and management in healthcare

    If you can train and facilitate training workshops in Africa and Arabian countries, please forward your CV to me on louise.atherton@kfint.com

  19. I have sent you an email with CV attached

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