By Mandipa Masenyama
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised concern over the improper disposal of waste related to Covid-19 responses which is now posing great threats to human and environmental health.
In a statement Tuesday, WHO said there is urgent need for Covid-19 response waste management to improve as it is now posing a great threat on human and environmental health.
“Tens of thousands of tonnes of extra medical waste from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous strain on health care waste management systems around the world, threatening human and environmental health and exposing a dire need to improve waste management practices, according to a new WHO report,” the statement reads.
It said most of the Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they donated in joint with United Nations (UN) is supposedly to be part of waste by now.
“The WHO Global analysis of health care waste in the context of COVID-19: status, impacts and recommendations bases its estimates on the approximately 87 000 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was procured between March 2020- November 2021 and shipped to support countries’ urgent COVID-19 response needs through a joint UN emergency initiative. Most of this equipment is expected to have ended up as waste,’’ said WHO.
WHO also said less attention was given to how the PPE’s were ought to be disposed properly without harming both human and the environmental health.
“As the UN and countries grappled with the immediate task of securing and quality-assuring supplies of PPE, less attention and resources were devoted to the safe and sustainable management of COVID-19 related health care waste,” WHO added.
African countries have been receiving Covid-19 jabs from first world countries specifically China but are failing to dispose properly the waste related to Covid-19 response. These include PPE’s, test kits, syringes, boxes and needles. To sum up all this, it has been a challenge especially in African towns, cities and residential areas where the public carelessly dispose used surgical face masks everywhere which include public bins.