Africa | Improving Health Care Waste Management



Since 2016, HCWH has been working with UNDP and WHO in four African countries, Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia, to support health care facilities to improve their health care waste management and substitute mercury-containing medical devices with safer digital ones. The project is supported by the Global Environmental Facility (the GEF) which is helping countries implement the objectives of the Stockholm Convention on POPs to eliminate inadvertently produced persistent organic pollutants that come from burning waste.

In 2018, African-built autoclaves for the sustainable treatment of health care waste were installed and tested in fourteen hospitals. Over 2,300 mercury-free thermometers and blood pressure meters were supplied and swapped for mercury containing items. All 24 pilot hospitals in the project are now mercury free. Introducing these new and safer technologies has profound impacts on some of the most neglected workers in the healthcare sector- those who manage its waste.

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