The Minister of Environment, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, and Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Sylvain Merlen, witnessed the treatment and disposable facility’s opening to manage medical waste in Gharbia governorate in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Population.
In her remarks, Dr. Yasmine Fouad highlighted that this plant uses sterilization and disinfection technologies and is part of the Ministry’s support to pilot projects. These projects use the best environmental practices and the latest available technologies to manage medical waste and its mishandling, especially burning that carry adverse effects on health and the environment. Moreover, the project is in line with the government’s plan to preserve human health and the environment and support the environmental dimension of Egypt’s vision 2030.
The recycling plant has been established at Sadr Basyoun Hospital in Gharbia Governorate through the ‘Medical and Electronic Waste Management’ project implemented by the Ministry of Environment with UNDP’s technical support and funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The newly established plant has a capacity of 5 tons daily, with a cost of about twenty million Egyptian pounds, and is expected to cover half of the governorate’s needs.
On his part, Mr. Sylvain Merlen highlighted that the sterilizing and shredding technology is one of the safest and the most common medical waste treatment technologies. It treats hazardous medical wastes and helps improve air quality by reducing gas emissions resulting from incineration treatment, following international standards as outlined through the international environmental agreements signed by the Egyptian government.
The ‘Medical and E-Waste Management’ Project Manager, Dr. Tarek Al Araby, added that the Gharbia Governorate was chosen to implement this pilot project to treat hazardous medical waste and address the absence of desert hinterland in the governorate, which requires medical waste to be transported about 120 km per day for safe treatment and disposal.
The project aims to expand the use of technology in health care facilities throughout the governorates and develop the organizational structure for the plant. Additionally, it outlines the technical requirements, qualifications, occupational responsibilities, workforce performance indicators, and the plant’s supervision team and workers’ training.