All Management Committees in estimating the required capacities

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Last updated: May 25, 2019

All personnel dealing with health-carewaste should be familiar with the main categories of health-care waste as setout in either national or local regulations on waste classification, (WHO, 2014). As a minimum, managersresponsible for healthcare waste should conduct a walk-through of the facilityto identify the medical areas that produce waste, to obtain an initial estimateof the types and quantities of waste generated, and to understand how the wasteis handled and disposed of. A rapid assessment, combining observations withinterviews and survey questionnaires, should provide sufficient data toidentify problems and begin the process of addressing them.Thisclearly depicts the integral role played by Health Management Systems (HMS) inthe overall management of Healthcare waste in health facilities. This isbecause the HMS is able to track the types and quantities of waste produced ina health-care facility as a first step in the planning for safe disposal.

HealthcareWaste-generation data provides an opportunity for the Health ManagementCommittees in estimating the required capacities for Containers, Storage areas,and Transportation and Treatment Technologies. These Committees can also usethis data establish a baseline data on rates of production in different medicalareas and for procurement specifications, planning, budgeting, calculatingrevenues from recycling, optimization of waste-management systems, andenvironmental impact assessments. Health-care waste-generation data are bestobtained from quantitative waste assessments. An assessment entails defininggoals, planning, enlisting the cooperation of staff, procurement of equipment(e.g. weighing scales, personal protective equipment), data collection,analysis and recommendations. In overall, Information system forms an integralpart in the overall management of Healthcare Waste.

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Hence, waste assessmentprovides an opportunity to improve current practices, sensitize health workersabout waste, and determine the potential for waste minimization. Implementingrigorous segregation can avoid over-sizing of equipment and result in costsavings. 

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