The Project for the Improvement of Infectious Waste in Southwest Asia
The threat posed by inadequate health care waste management systems requires urgent attention to protect human health, and to minimize environmental and social impacts.
Improperly managed health care waste is a significant source of pollutants – untreated health care waste in open dumps and landfill sites can cause soil and water contamination, while inadequate incineration of medical waste can lead to the release of persistent organic pollutants.
Many low- and middle-income countries have historically had limited public and private investments in sustainable waste treatment systems, and with the rapid increase in infectious and non-infectious health care waste during the COVID-19 pandemic they now find themselves in the dire situation of mounting health care waste that is beyond their waste management capacity.
Funded by the Government of Japan, the Project for the Improvement of Infectious Waste in Southwest Asia aims to deliver sustainable, clean and green solutions to health care waste management in Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives, thereby contributing to building strong and resilient health systems and human security. The project will also contribute to dialogue between governments and national stakeholders to shape the future of health care waste management in the countries.
What we do
The overall goal of the project is to address the development challenges of inadequate health care waste management of the national and local government health care institutions in Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives, through innovative solutions and capacity building. The three countries will deploy locally appropriate, gender sensitive, safe and sustainable health care waste management practices and technologies.
Specific project objectives are:
- Enable procurement of non-incineration equipment, machinery and vehicles for the treatment and transportation of health care waste.
- Build capacity of health care facility workers and health care waste handlers on safe waste handling and disposal practices.
- Ensure health care waste management practices follow standard monitoring and regulatory frameworks, and that appropriate policy is in place.
- Implement digital technology for monitoring and enhancing health care waste management practices.
- Foster South-South knowledge sharing and collaboration on good practices of health care waste management to meet international standards and conventions.