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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.095
Analysis of treatment of solid medical waste in Bujumbura, Burundi
Edouard Niyongaboa1,2, Yong-Chul Jang3, Daeseok Kang1, and Kijune Sung1
1Department of Ecological Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Republic of Korea
2Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Ministry of Health, Bujumbura 1820, Burundi
3Department of Environmental Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Kijune Sung ,Tel: +82-51-629-654, Fax: +82-51-629-6538, Email: ksung@pknu.ac.kr
Received: March 10, 2018;  Accepted: July 15, 2018.
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Since improper management practices of solid medical waste (SMW) could potentially result in serious health risks and environmental problems, it is very important to properly treat and dispose of the medical wastes. In this study, current practices of SMW management from storage to final disposal stage in 12 health care facilities (HCFs) of Burundi were investigated using the official government reports. The results showed that 75% and 92% of HCFs used uncovered wheelbarrows and trucks for on-site or off-site SMW transportation, respectively, indicating that most transportation equipment and waste workers are not safely protected. The results also showed that 92.8% of SMW (15,736.4 ton) from all 12 HCFs were inappropriately disposed of through uncontrolled land disposal and incineration. If pharmaceutical wastes and discarded medical plastics (29.5% of SMW) can be separated and treated properly, the treatment costs can be reduced and resource savings can be achieved. Raising awareness of healthcare workers and general public about potential health effects arising from improper SMW management, sufficient financial and human resources for the treatment facilities (especially incinerators), and effective regulations and guidelines for transportation and treatment of SWM are some of the major tasks for safe and sustainable medical waste management in Burundi.
Keywords: Incineration | Infectious waste | Medical waste | Risk | Transportation
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