Ivory Coast: 33 health centres in Abidjan equipped for medical waste management

While 15% of hospital waste is considered infectious and toxic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the authorities in Ivory Coast are equipping 33 health centres in Abidjan with kits to improve the collection of waste from their activities.

Ivory Coast is taking another step forward in sanitation. The National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Adjamé, Abidjan, recently received equipment to improve the collection of hospital waste in 33 health centres. The $180 million (109 billion CFA francs) equipment consists of 228 30-litre pedal bins, 23 240-litre wheeled bins, 55,080 50-litre and 3,772 330-litre bin bags, as well as “34 770-litre trolleys and 2,412 5-litre cardboard safety boxes”.

The initiative, jointly funded by the World Bank’s Health Projects Coordination Unit (UCP) and the Ivorian Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage, will help reduce pollution and infections from waste in the Ivorian economic capital. “About 16 billion injections are given each year worldwide. Not all needles are properly disposed of, but are sometimes reused with a risk of injury. Added to this is the disposal of healthcare waste, which leads to the release of toxic pollutants into the environment,” says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Indeed, a study by Ivorian researchers Konan N’Zi, Youssouf Traoré, Médé Dindji, Yapo Acho and Jean-Sylvain Bonny reveals that the health sector in Ivory Coast generates 66% of national waste production, i.e. a daily quantity of 16,7 tonnes of solid biomedical waste composed of sharps (needles, scalpels), infectious waste (infusions, blood bags), chemical waste (disinfectants, cleaning products) and pharmaceutical waste (medicine bottles).

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In the meantime, the Ivorian authorities want to experiment with new treatment techniques such as microwaves, steam combined with internal grinding or autoclaving. It is in this context that the Bondoukou Hospital Centre (CHR), located on the Ghanaian border, benefited in 2021 from a “banaliseur”. This device grinds and sterilises more than 60 kg of hospital waste per day using steam.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi