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New National Healthcare Waste Management Policy and Technical Guidelines launched

Two new documents on policy and technical guidelines for the management of healthcare waste in Ghana has been launched by the Deputy Minister for Health, Hon. Tina Mensah in Accra.

The two documents, an outcome of a multi-sectoral collaboration between the Ministries of Health (MoH), Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), and Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) is expected to address the challenges of managing healthcare waste in the current context.

Launching the document, Hon. Tina Mensah said, nearly 85 percent of healthcare waste generated through healthcare activities is non-hazardous, while 15 percent remain infectious, toxic, or radioactive.

However, not all healthcare wastes are properly disposed of after use, which she said, poses a great health risk to individuals and the entire eco-system.

Hon. Mensah said the 2006 Healthcare Waste Policy and Guidelines were revised to effectively respond to the current context of healthcare waste management to prevent injuries, infections, and other hazards.

She disclosed that the Ministry of Health has also reviewed the National Health Policy for Ghana (NHP 2020) and has developed a Universal Health Coverage Roadmap for the country.

“These two over-arching health documents will provide Whole-of-Government and Whole-of-Society policy shifts in improving the health status of the population”, Hon. Mensah said.

The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said the on-going Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore, the importance of devising effective means of dealing with healthcare waste from health facilities and the public.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Kwabena Oku-Afari, welcoming participants said, the timing of the launch of the two documents was appropriate since the world is in a pandemic, and its effect continues to negatively impact all facets of life including the environment and healthcare waste management.

He was optimistic that the implementation of the policy and technical guidelines will receive the support of all stakeholders to ensure improved healthcare waste management in Ghana.

Source: MoH PR Unit.

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