With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing a rapid increase in healthcare waste. Countries and health systems are struggling to safely manage and dispose of this waste in a way that does not compromise human health and the environment.
Even before this pandemic, an assessment by WHO/UNICEF showed that the majority of countries lack basic waste management services in their healthcare facilities (WHO/UNICEF 2019). Burning waste in open pits, dumping untreated waste in landfills and contaminated water supplies are common in many resource constrained environments.
Now is the time to take action:
•Why is healthcare waste management an integral part of WASH in healthcare facilities?
•What are sustainable approaches for building comprehensive healthcare waste management systems?
•What are the challenges?
•How can we scale up such interventions?
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