Hesperian Health Guides

Community Solutions

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HealthWiki > A Community Guide to Environmental Health > Chapter 19: Health Care Waste > Community Solutions

Some systems of waste collection, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal are more costly than many health centers can afford. But if several centers in a region share resources, together they can create a waste handling system that is safer and more complete than any could do on their own. And if they can coordinate their purchases of supplies, they can better influence suppliers to offer health care supplies that produce less dangerous waste.

If your health center does not have an autoclave and a safe waste pit, wastes can be disinfected, separated into safe containers, and transported to a center that has a safe waste pit or sanitary landfill. A regional system of sharps collection, transport, and disposal can be organized to serve many health posts in both urban and rural areas.

If there is municipal waste collection in the area, disinfected waste can be collected and sent to the landfill. And toxic wastes can be sent to the toxic waste site (if there is one). If there is no waste collection in the area, consider working toward a community solid waste system. Which methods your center uses depends on what your resources are and what works best for you.

A line of 7 people hold hands, including a child, nurse, patient, and a doctor.
What happens in the health center eventually touches everyone in the community.