In its latest report, the World Health Organization warned that 144 thousand tons of medical waste caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the world for the last two years, threatens human and environmental health.
In its new report, the United Nations health agency noted that discarded syringes, used test kits and old vaccine bottles create tens of thousands of tons of medical waste, placing a huge strain on health waste management systems.
In the 71-page document It was stated that most of the 87 thousand tons of personal protective equipment used between March 2020 and November 2021 turned into waste.
Another point highlighted in the report was that the waste generated by more than 140 million test kits occupied one-third of an Olympic pool.
“It is dangerous for both health workers and the environment”
In its report, the World Health Organization noted that discarded garbage poses a potential danger to health workers. Because, according to the organization, employees can be exposed to microbes that cause a needle stick or disease while they work.
In addition, the report underlined that these garbage can also be harmful to the environment, and it was stated that living areas close to poorly managed landfills may be affected by polluted air caused by burning wastes, a possible leak may affect natural drinking water sources and cause parasite formation.
While the report did not clearly indicate in which countries these hazards are greatest, it did refer to problems with waste treatment plants in rural India and large volumes of fecal sludge from quarantine facilities in Madagascar.
The UN health agency has called for reform and additional investment, including reducing the use of packaging and personal protective equipment and investing in non-combustible waste treatment technology.