23 March 2009

Nigeria: Country Doesn't Have Health Care Waste Management Plan - USAID

Nigeria does not have health care waste management plan thus putting its citizens at the risk of infecting blood related diseases, the United States Agency for International Development [USAID], Country Director, said in Abuja weekend.

Health care wastes are ones driven from used syringes, scissors and other hospital wastes that need to be disposed after use because of their risk to humans and the environment.

However, Dr. Abimbola Soyande told newsmen after her team's courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, the country does not have any plan for health care waste management.

Said she: "Right now, the waste management of the country is in limbo because we don't have a plan. We don't have any policy for healthcare waste especially our wastes from hospitals are just mixed with municipal waste. And that means the whole community is at risk of infecting HIV, hepatitis and other blood related illnesses.

Soyande said the purpose of their visit is to intimate the Minister on their efforts to partner the Ministry to develop some documents towards having a proper healthcare waste management in the country.

She said: "we have been working with the Ministries of Environment, Health and other partners to develop three major documents. These are Healthcare Waste Management Guideline, Healthcare Waste Management Policy and Healthcare Waste Management Implementation Plan."

According to her, the project started in 2002 by the Ministry of Environment where USAID, under a project called Making Medical Injection Safer, helped them in capacity building and technical support.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, assured that the documents will be presented to the Federal Executive Council [FEC] for consideration and adoption.

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