PH receives support for medical waste management effort amid COVID-19 pandemic

(Photo courtesy of UNDP Philippines)

(16 August 2021) - The Department of Health (DOH) through the Bureau of International Health Cooperation and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme  (UNDP) and the Chinese government kicked off a new partnership to improve the medical waste management in the country amid COVID19 on August 13, 2021.

The DOH, in coordination with the National Task Force Against COVID-19, other line agencies, and concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) said that the effort to improve the healthcare waste management of the country’s COVID-19 response will protect Filipinos from the risks and hazards of exposure to rising healthcare wastes.

“In these trying times, we recognize the power of sharing - not just of technologies, but more importantly of knowledge and insights, especially from the Government of China and UNDP who have demonstrated success on this crucial agenda. Our current COVID-19 response is very vital but we also have to recognize and address its repercussions, especially with our environment. For example, medical waste has significantly increased with the regular use of essential protective equipment by our health workers. Implementing innovative initiatives to address this growing concern should be brought to the table, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

As part of the project “Learning from China’s Experience to Improve the Ability of Response to COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific Region”,  mobile autoclaves will be set up in two public hospitals or quarantine facilities in Pasig City and Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital as project partners. Corresponding equipment and operation training sessions will be provided to both medical and non-medical hospital staff. In addition, medical waste characterization, a management study, and the development of a long-term resilience plan will support the Philippine Government in crafting strategic interventions based on evidence.