Tanzania: Pilot Project Launched on Non-Incineration Medical Waste Treatment
October 17th, 2008
Bagamoyo, Tanzania - A project to replace Bagamoyo District Hospital's reliance on an ailing incinerator with a
safer, non-burn waste treatment system received high praise today
from hospital staff and administration and the district's
The new system involves improving the hospital's waste segregation and replacing the hospital's broken incinerator with an autoclave and shredder that will disinfect the waste and grind it up to make it safe for disposal. The hospital has also been provided with new bins to segregate the different types of waste and with training by project partners on how to segregate effectively. A newly-formed hospital waste management committee will ensure that standards remain high into the future.
"This project is a showcase of safe and environmentally friendly waste disposal practices. These technologies are well established on a larger scale in places such as Europe and America. During the 12 months of the pilot, we will refine and optimise procedures at the scale needed for the typical district hospitals of Tanzania and similar countries," said Ruth Stringer, International Science and Policy Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm, a principal NGO partner in the project.
"The neighbours of this hospital used to complain that the smoke from the incinerator kept them awake at night, coughing," noted Dr. Ernest Chenya, Country Director of John Snow Inc., a development firm and cooperating partner in the project. "The autoclave technology that we are inaugurating addresses this
problem. It further addresses the problem of emissions of toxic gases and solids - the dioxins and furans that arise from incineration of medical waste."
Chief Technical Advisor Dr. Jorge Emmanuel from the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility Global Healthcare Waste Project, a partner in the Bagamoyo pilot, confirmed the United Nations' strong support for this project. "We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking project that will demonstrate the effectiveness of non-burn waste treatment systems
in Tanzania and around the world. The importance of effectively dealing with hospital waste in a way that is safe for people and the environment cannot be overstated."
Tanzania is a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, a global convention aimed at eliminating pollution from persistent organic pollutants, including the dioxins and furans.
The project is a partnership between international NGOs Health Care Without Harm and John Snow Inc. (JSI), Tanzanian NGO AGENDA for Responsible Development, the University of Dar Es Salaam and UNDP/Global Environment Facility*, along with the Vice President's Office-Department of the Environment; National Environment Management Committee; Bagamoyo District Hospital; Bagamoyo District Council and recycling industries.
For further information on GEF, visit http://www.noharm.org/globalsoutheng/GEF
For more information contact:
Ruth Stringer, International Science & Policy Coordinator
Phone: +44 20 8144 0812
Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of 473 organizations
in more than 50 countries, working to transform the health care sector so it
is no longer a source of harm to people and the environment.