Responsible Medical Waste Management

Responsible Medical Waste Management 

Project duration: 1.1.2011. – 31.12.2012.
Implementator: Centre for Ecology and Energy
Partner organization: MDP Doboj
Funding: EU
Co-funding: Environmental Protection Fund FBiH

The goal of the realized project is to examine the situation in respect of the amount and the method of disposal of medical waste in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina by working with representatives of government, healthcare institutions, business sector and NGOs, preparing Action plan for the management of medical waste in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina and  Guide for the establishment of Plans for medical Waste management for health care facilities, which will result in the launch process of PUMO in 10 health facilities.

Prior to the start of implementation of the project, large amounts of hazardous medical waste along with the communal waste was disposed on the landfills endangering the health of people who came in contact with it and harmfully affecting the environment. The reason for this is failure to comply with the legal obligations of all parties (competent authorities, medical institutions and businesses and utility companies) in the management of medical waste.

In order to present problems regarding medical waste management to representatives of target groups, as well as the proper method of its disposal, an analysis of current quantity of medical waste and ways of managing in NE region, it is organized three tours in: Jastrebarsko in Croatia, in Doboj in Republic of Srpska and Gracanica in Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, and filmed a documentary on the management of medical waste in the NE region.

Formed a working group of 19 experts (representatives of governments, healthcare institutions, business sector and NGOs) through education and 5 working meetings participated in finding solutions for medical waste management in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina which have been included in the documents „Regional plan for the management of medical waste in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina“ and „Guide for the establishment of Plans for medical Waste management“. As a special tool in order to help health care facilities for easier development of their Plan for medical waste management it has been prepared in Word document Draft of medical waste management plan for an imaginary health facility. These documents were major relief for medical facilities to start  the process of drafting and implementing their plans of medical waste management

After organizing media campaigns announcing workshops and printing on stickers dangerous types of medical waste in March and June of 2012 in two cycles it was organized 8 workshops on design and implementation of medical waste management plan for the representatives of health institutions, which were attended by a total of 255 persons, of which more than 194 representatives from 75 medical institutions in the region of northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. These workshops were organized in Tuzla, Doboj, Brčko, Bijeljina and Zvornik, but  because of our interest in solving problems related to the disposal of medical waste it was further organized another 2 workshops: one in Milici, for employees of the Health Centre and one in Tuzla for NGOs, students and other citizens, which were attended by 51 participants.

By realizing 24 consultative meetings with health facilities, 20 visits to health institutions, as well as 6 meeting with representatives of the responsible entity and local ministries and inspections, the project team has provided additional support for the development and application of medical waste management plan, so as a result over 100 health facilities drafted and submitted their Plans for the medical waste management to relevant ministries. For example, to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Environmental protection of Tuzla Canton until 31st of December 2012 for 71health care facilities issued a decision approving the medical waste management plan.

Through two media campaigns, 6 Press Conference, 16 press releases and 17 articles / reports on completed activities on www.ekologija.ba, the project attracted the attention of the public. Through 350 media releases on 37 media, the public is familiarwith the problem of medical waste management and implementation of the project.

Due to the current unresolved issues about inadequate management of medical waste, medical institutions and ministries in B&H have shown interest for the implemented project activities. For example, the Ministry of Construction, Urban planning and Environmental Protection of the Una – Sana Canton, after final informative conference held at the end of the project, has started a process of proper management of medical waste in their canton.

Report prepared by: Vanja Rizvic