Reasons for Incorrect Waste Management in Poorer Nations
- In many poorer countries, incorrect waste disposal is a result of ignorance. There is a lack of education about the health hazards of poorly managed medical waste disposal. In some places there is a complete absence of waste disposal systems. This is often also a result of a lack of resources- both financial and human. Impoverished countries that do have adequate regulations often don’t enforce them. This may be because of lack of funds, corruption or a lack of awareness.
- Solutions to the problem include education and training. Diligence is needed to prevent the negative health outcomes that come with poor medical waste management such as exposure to toxins and infection. Awareness should be raised of the possible risks of incorrect handling, storage, collection and transportation and treatment of medical waste.
- Good practice starts with reducing the volume of waste generated. The next step is correct separation of the waste into correct containers. Committed supervision and regulation will eventually bring the practices in line with national and international specifications.
- Finances permitting, waste disposal methods that are safer and more environmentally friendly than incineration can be phased in. This would include the use of autoclaves and microwaves.
- With correct education, management and allocation of resources, the medical waste disposal problem in poorer nations can be solved in a safe and responsible manner.