First Board Meeting on project to address unprecedented rise in health care waste management in Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives held
October 26, 2022
The first high level Board of ‘Improvement of Infectious Waste Management in Southwest Asia’ programme supported by the Government of Japan was held today in Bangkok, Thailand.
This flagship regional initiative seeks to support national governments, health agencies and stakeholders in three countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives) of Southwest Asia by deploying much needed healthcare waste management practices and technologies in several regions of each country.
It also seeks to improve the capacity of healthcare institutions (i) to address both infectious and non-infectious healthcare waste, (ii) to protect human health, and (iii) to minimize the environmental and social impacts. This project will benefit healthcare workers, including staff and patients, healthcare waste management personnel, with key metrics to address equitable access to health service of women.
Most importantly as the subregion is challenged by wider waste management challenges, the programme will ensure that waste originated from the health sector is safely handled and disposed. Activities are designed to feedback to healthcare waste management policies and include innovative digital solutions as well as taking full advantage of renewable and green energy transitions. It will also contribute to South-South learning and the sharing of knowledge, skills, good practices, and expertise across the region.
Gracing the Board, Her Excellency Takeuchi Midori Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives, reaffirmed a renewed commitment towards the Maldives Ministry of Health, with a substantial set of complementary efforts in the sector from the People of Japan.
Ahmed Adil, Minister of State for Health in the Maldives shared the depth of challenges around waste management in the health sector and in the country, and reiterated commitment to learn and share from peers in the region.
Speaking at the meeting, Jaco Cilliers Regional Manager of Asia Pacific Policy and Programming at United Nations Development Program outlined the oversight function of the Board and the unique opportunities to accelerate delivery of services as participating countries strive to perfect the road towards better health management.
UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives Enrico Gaveglia was positive about the Board exchange and stressed how the COVID19 crisis has once and for all demonstrated that global challenges, such as the one faced by health and human security will require local solution seekers to share experiences, often resources, because what matters for a community it is likely to matter everywhere.