Disposal of this waste is an environmental concern, as many medical wastes are classified as infectious or bio-hazardous and could potentially lead to the spread of infectious disease. Examples of infectious waste include blood, potentially contaminated "sharps" such as needles and scalpels (and other devices capable of penetrating skin) and identifiable body parts. Infectious waste is often incinerated. The most common method of sterilization is an autoclave. The autoclave uses steam and pressure to sterilize the waste. Additionally, medical facilities produce a variety of waste hazardous chemicals, including radioactive materials. While such wastes are normally not infectious, they may be classified as hazardous wastes, and require proper disposal.

Hospital waste dumped alongside normal waste

Blood leaking from hospital waste on road side

In most of the developed countries there are three main methods for medical waste generators to dispose of their waste: On-site, truck service, and mail-back disposal. On-site treatment involves the use of very expensive equipment, and is generally only used by very large hospitals and major universities who have the means to afford such equipment. This was and is not an option for Sudan. In developing countries, solid wastes have not received sufficient attention and hazardous and medical wastes are still handled and disposed together with domestic wastes, thus creating a great health risk to municipal workers, the public and the environment. Practices in the healthcare facilities do not comply with the principles stated in Sudanese legislation.  In Khartoum, hospital waste of any kind is picked up alongside household waste. The garbage collectors do not use any protective gear and handle it as household waste. This creates a serious health risk. On the dumpsites, people move along hospital waste which is mixed with household waste. This is a very dangerous situation.

The partners ( Sudanes and Dutch company) will establish the first Collection and Incineration of medical (bio-hazardous) waste project in the country. There is at least 20 tons of medical waste produced by all the hospitals and health clinics per day. This is a pilot project financed by local and Dutch partners and the Dutch PSI programme. They expect to be in operation in 2017.

 

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