A new report from the World Health Organization has highlighted an overabundance of medical waste around the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Health Organization said this week thousands of tons of waste – discarded syringes, old test kits and used vaccine vials – had strained waste management systems and threatened threaten both human health and the environment, the World Health Organization said this week.
The agency, part of the United Nations, said most of its estimated 87,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment and supplies for coronavirus testing and vaccination – were distributed to countries from March 2020. to November 2021 through an emergency UN initiative – ended up as wasted.
In addition, the more than 8 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine administered globally have generated 143 tons of trash in the form of syringes, needles and safety boxes. Some waste can expose others to needlesticks and disease-causing germs, the report said.
Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said: “It is paramount to provide healthcare workers with the right PPE. “But it is important to ensure that it can be used safely without affecting the surroundings.”
To address these issues, the report recommends “environmentally friendly” packaging and shipping, along with reusable equipment and products made from recyclable or non-recyclable materials. biodegradation.
The report also noted that 30% of healthcare facilities worldwide were unable to process the amount of waste they generated even before the pandemic hit. And that number rises to 60% in the least developed countries. The report’s authors write that trash pollutes the air in nearby communities, contaminates water and attracts disease-carrying pests. They call for increased investment in recycling technologies and cleaner waste treatment.
Solid waste specialist said that large volumes of personal protective equipment have been misclassified as hazardous. Much of that material is dumped into the incinerators because it is excluded from regular trash.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The report is a reminder that although the pandemic is the most serious health crisis in a century, it is linked to many other challenges that we cannot overcome. countries face.
The estimate does not include trash from hundreds of tons of supplies not distributed through the UN, or face coverings and home testing kits used by the public.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/world/medical-waste-environment-covid.html A United Nations report says a huge amount of medical waste is flooding the globe.