Ghana - Multi-Sector HIV/AIDS Program Project : environmental assessment (English)
This environmental assessment for the Multi-Sector HIV/AIDS Program Project in Ghana anticipates negative environmental impacts resulting from the production, handling, storage, transport, treatment, and disposal of biomedical wastes, and, proposes measures... See More +
This environmental assessment for the Multi-Sector HIV/AIDS Program Project in Ghana anticipates negative environmental impacts resulting from the production, handling, storage, transport, treatment, and disposal of biomedical wastes, and, proposes measures to mitigate the social and environmental adversity. It identifies the persons who will likely risk contamination from accidental injury and subsequent infection by pathological agents - especially the agents causing HIV - through sharp objects, or other. Incinerator operators are especially vulnerable to chronic respiratory ailments, and cancers resulting from dust and toxic substances caused by combustion. There is also the minor risk of odors from biomedical wastes accumulating. The report points out that not only medical personnel are at risk from biomedical wastes, but the entire population, particularly children playing in dump sites, and without protection, and maintenance workers who are exposed to un-segregated wastes. It focuses particularly on health care waste management. The method used for waste disposal - whether buried, incinerated or released into surface or underground waters - will determine the level and type of hazard posed to the environment. Hence possible risks include air, water, and soil pollution/contamination (e.g., toxic gases produced from burnt plastics - dioxin, chloro-benzene and other carcinogens). The report recommends that liquid biomedical waste be disinfected with chlorine solutions in specific concentrations, and be stored in stabilization, or septic tanks where they should biodegrade. The report weighs the risks, and benefits of using various options for solid waste disposal, including chemical disinfection, sanitary burial in stages, burial within the confines of the hospital grounds, and incineration. Waste management may be improved by building the capacity for training the public, medical professionals, and sanitation workers in hygienic practices; providing equipment for adequate waste collection storage, and transport; providing protective gear; installing a system to separate biomedical waste from ordinary garbage; installing incinerators in hospitals and health centers; and establishing laws, rules and procedures for waste management.
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