Hazards of health care waste - Status of management

Healthcare waste management in low- and middle income facilities

Fewer than half of healthcare facilities in low and middle income countries have adequate waste management and in some areas, there are no data at all.  

WHO & UNICEF (2015) Water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities.  Status in low- and middle-income countries and way forward. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/154588/1/9789241508476_eng.pdf?ua=1

Impacts of improperly treated health care waste

This review of scientific literature estimated that half of the world’s population are at risk from environmental, occupational or public health threats from improperly treated healthcare waste.  Harhay et al 2009 Health care waste management: a neglected and growing public health problem worldwide. Tropical Medicine and International Health 14(11):1414-1417.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02386.x/pdf

Human rights and health care waste

In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur invited HCWH to provide input about the way in which improper medical waste management might harm human rights. The following report, and input from other agencies including WHO, led to a final report recommending more support for medical waste management and the substitution of incineration wherever possible.

Stringer, R. et al. (2011) Medical Waste and Human Rights Submission to the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur. Publ: HCWH, 68pp.

Georgescu, C. (2011) Report of the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights. Publ: Human Rights Council Eighteenth session Agenda item 3, Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, 21pp.

Mercury waste assessment

Country by country analyses of the status of waste management in general and mercury in particular. 

UNEP (2017) Global Mercury Waste Assessment: Review of Current National Measures.  https://www.unep.org/ietc/sites/unep.org.ietc/files/Global-Mercury-Waste-Assessment-web.pdf