Towards a Sustainable Hospital Generated Sharps Management Program
Lessons from Migori County
Keywords:sharps, incineration, occupational exposure
Disposal of medical wastes follows a World Health Organization (WHO) approved guideline. Medical sharps requires the use of an incinerator, which is not affordable to most health facilities. We document our stepwise approach towards achieving sustainable sharps disposal in Migori county. The County Biosafety officer, County Laboratory Coordinator and the supporting partners held meetings to assess the medical sharps load of the county and the incineration need. Five sub-counties were networked to the county incinerator and cost estimated. A budget was drawn that covers collection, transportation and incineration fuel cost. Resources were mobilized to support the program implementation and key personnel identified to develop documentation tools and implement the program as per the activity schedule developed. 1,527 sharps boxes were disposed of from Suna West (360), Suna East (104), Nyatike (475), Uriri (334) and Rongo (254). We also rode on this activity to distribute waste management tools including segregation charts, colour coded waste bin liners, sharps boxes and copies of waste transportation log per facility. Best practices included innovative segregation attempts at facility level, modified waste holding areas and waste management SOPs. Finance, poor road network and high volume of cumulated sharps boxes were major challenges. This innovation minimised exposure to contaminated sharps and reduced occupational exposure. In conclusion, sharps wastes networking reduces the burden of wastes held in health facilities and associated occupational risk.
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