Water Sanitation Health

Healthcare waste

Guidance for healthcare waste management in in low-income countries

Healthcare waste is a by-product of healthcare that includes sharps, non-sharps, blood, body parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials.

Poor management of healthcare waste exposes healthcare workers, waste handlers and the community to infections, toxic effects and injuries. WHO Programme activities include:

  • developing technical guidance materials for assessing the quantities and types of waste produced in different facilities;
  • creating national action plans, developing national healthcare waste management guidelines; and
  • building capacity at national level to enhance the way healthcare waste is dealt with in low-income countries.