HCWM technologies in small HCFs

Technical devices used for the safe management of HCW are normally found at the level of containerization, on-site handling and treatment/ final disposal.

Containerization

As tends to often happen in small HCFs, If there is a supply shortage or absence of appropriate recipients, alternative solutions can be implemented such as recycling cardboard boxes or using plastic bottles to store sharps.

Such solutions are acceptable and easy to put in place making sure that all the staff is duly informed of the system used

Handling

In most small HCFs, handling of HCW is usually limited to the transport of the waste bin to the pit so as to empty its' content at the end of each day.

Whenever available, protective clothing (boots or robust working shoes and heavy duty gloves) should be worn to minimize accidental injuries while disposing of the HCW.

Treatment and final disposal

Due to both the small amounts of HCW produced as well as limited financial and human resources available in most PHCs, the treatment and final disposal options that are used are usually either burial pits or small-scale incinerators (SSIs) such as the "de Montfort" [read more…]

In small HCFs, the most problematic fraction of HCW that needs to be dealt with are sharps. Different solutions exist amongst which are needle removers and solar melting systems (currently still at a development stage).

Needle removers either pull or cut the needle off from the syringe that fall into a container that can then be disposed of in a sharp pit. Pilot projects are currently being carried out in several countries to help determine both acceptance, ease of use and safety of these devices.