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  3. Friday, 15 August 2008
POST 01305E: HEALTHCARE WASTE MANAGEMENT: WEIGHTED DECISION-MAKING APPROACH FOLLOW-UP ON POSTS 01295E & 01296E 15 AUGUST 2008 ******************************************* Dear Moderator, I would like to respond to the important issues raised by Vijay on July 29, 2008. Safe, affordable, and appropriate solutions for treatment and final disposal of health care waste continue to be major challenges. For countries looking to identify technologies that are financially and technically feasible and environmentally safe, the factors for consideration are many and complicated, as alluded to by Vijay in his recent message. I would like to share with the TechNet community a brief description of collaboration among PATH (through its USAID-funded HealthTech project), the Making Medical Injections Safer Project, Health Care Without Harm, and several ministries and a private hospital in Botswana. The primary goal of the collaboration is to develop and model a facility-based, decision-making approach to identify an appropriate clinical waste treatment system with the focus on reduction of negative environmental and health impact. The emphasis is on developing a practical, participatory approach that will be used to characterize the clinical waste needs and identify key costs and benefits for improved treatment options, including health and environmental factors such as those Vijay mentions. The process will result in recommendations for a type of technology based on a clearly documented rationale, enabling decision-makers in Botswana to select an appropriate, improved clinical waste management solution for a designated facility. This collaboration is expected to result in a decision-making approach to identify appropriate treatment solutions that can be weighted to reflect the priorities of a country or facility. We anticipate the process will conclude by the end of 2008 and plan to write a case study on the experience to be shared with the global health community. PATH continues to look for new appropriate technologies for health care waste management to meet the needs in low-resource settings. In addition to developing new solutions, we continue to explore ways to modify and optimize existing technologies. As we look toward the future, it will be increasingly important to identify technologies that safely and affordably convert waste to fuel or other useful byproducts. As countries continue to gain experience with new technologies and approaches for health care waste management in low resource settings, it is critical we document and share findings and outcomes through publications and postings in forums like TechNet. Regards, Nancy Muller ([email=nmuller@path.org]nmuller@path.org[/email])
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