How women help strengthen health systems

Good healthcare waste management practices enable the fight against COVID-19 in Africa

Trainings on healthcare waste segregation and disposal practices are given through accessible channels to nurses and vulnerable groups such as sanitation workers. Since 2017, more than 250 health professionals and environmental specialists have been trained on healthcare waste management issues in Madagascar. Photo: UNDP Madagascar

A public health issue

Traditional incinerators produce significant environmental pollution which can negatively affect the health of individuals staying or working at the facilities, as well of nearby communities. Photos: UNDP Zambia
Autoclaves which sterilize infectious waste at the healthcare facilities are both public health and environmental solutions. Photo: UNDP Madagascar
A nurse at Sinza hospital, Tanzania, uses a mercury-free digital thermometer and sphygmomanometer to monitor a patient’s blood pressure. Photo: UNDP Tanzania
Left: Fanjaranirana Raholiarimanana shows the newly installed segregation bins at the Mother and Child Tsaralanana Hospital in Madagascar. Right: A nurse demonstrates the use of safety boxes for proper storage of syringes, needles and sharps, before treatment with an autoclave, Ghana.
Waste-pickers scavenging through municipal landfills are at serious risk from healthcare waste disposed of alongside regular garbage. Photo: UNDP Zambia

Beyond hospitals’ walls

Briquettes made of recycled medical waste provide an alternative source of income for public hospitals. Photos: UNDP Madagascar
The project helps healthcare facilities manage infectious waste during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. The continuity of good practices and capacity built by the medical staff, including women, are now among the key responses to the outbreak. Photo: UNDP Madagascar

Advancing sustainable human development in 46 Sub-Saharan African countries.