Tag Archives: medical wastes

Medical waste, bad for your health and bad for your rights, warns UN expert

A new UN report says the international community has to date paid little attention to the growing problem of medical waste around the world, especially in developing countries. The report was released in September 2011 by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste Calin Georgescu.

“Some 20 to 25 per cent of the total waste generated by health-care establishments is regarded as hazardous and may create a variety of health and environmental risks if not managed and disposed of in an appropriate manner,” warns the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights.

Hazardous health-care waste includes infectious waste, sharps, anatomical and pathological waste, obsolete or expired chemical products and pharmaceuticals, and radioactive materials. Medical waste is often mixed with general household waste, and either disposed of in municipal waste facilities or dumped illegally.

A significant amount of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is disposed of through hospital wastewater.

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ICDDR,B raises awareness of threat posed by medical waste in Bangladesh

In recent years medical waste management has become a growing topic of  discussion and debate in Bangladesh, especially amongst environmentalists, academicians, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations and researchers. On January 26, ICDDR,B and its collaborators, Bangladesh FHI and Health Care Without Harm organised a seminar on  “Medical Waste Management in Bangladesh” at ICDDR,B’s Sasakawa auditorium. The seminar brought together a range of speakers to discuss aspects of medical waste management, and to raise awareness of the challenges faced.

What is medical waste?
Medical waste can be defined as all waste materials generated at health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, dental practices, blood banks, and veterinary hospitals/clinics, as well as medical research facilities and laboratories. It can pose serious threats to environmental health and requires specific treatment and management prior to its final disposal. With a rapid increase in the number of hospitals, clinics and diagnostic laboratories in all of Bangladesh’  major cities, the proper management of medical waste has become a serious concern for local authorities and city corporations.

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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

Cote d’Ivoire: Clean up campaign for hospitals

ABIDJAN, 31 March 2008 (IRIN) – Hygiene in most hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire is so low that the ministry of health has launched a nationwide clean-up campaign. […] The director of public health Alexandre N’Guessan said he believed that most of the infections occur because medical waste has not been properly disposed of as health workers are not following established norms.

Read more: IRIN, 31 Mar 2008