UNDP trains health workers on healthcare waste management

Sep 19, 2017

First group of participants from the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital

More than 300 health workers have benefited from a two-day intensive training on health care waste management, which occurred on 4th – 14th September, 2017 at various health facilities.

The training sought to introduce clinical and non-clinical staff of beneficiary hospitals to best practices in healthcare waste management to reduce infections and at the same time protect the environment, with special emphasis on waste segregation, storage and transportation.

This activity forms part of the medical waste project being implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service with support from UNDP.

Participants were drawn from five health facilities across the country including the Winneba Trauma Hospital, the Capecoast Teaching Hospital, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the Koforidua Regional Hospital and the Tegbi Health Centre.

Participants received training on the management of toxic mercury spills from existing mercury containing devices and how to prevent human exposure, so that the facilities can effectively cope with cases of emergency until they receive non-mercury containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers from the project in the coming months.

This initiative builds on efforts to support current efforts to phase out mercury use in the health sector in line with the provisions of the Minamata Convention that came into force in August this year.

“I have learned how to do proper waste segregation during care delivery. I appreciate that it can break hospital-acquired infections and the chain of infection to keep the hospital and the environment healthy”, said Edith Amuttiy, Public Health Nurse at the Tegbi Health Centre

In addition, participants were taken through modules on infection prevention and control with particular emphasis on good sanitation practice such as handwashing.  The training taught me how to efficiently perform my tasks and protect myself from infections.”, said Rosemary Amankwah, a Waste Handler at the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital.

It is expected that these facilities will have the adequate capacity to maintain best practices in health care waste management and shall serve as reference points for other health facilities across the country.

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