Event Date/Time: May 18, 2009 End Date/Time: May 19, 2009
Registration Date: May 01, 2009
Early Registration Date: May 01, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 23, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Apr 23, 2009
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As you might be aware, Health Care Waste is a mounting problem in the Southern African Region as in many other countries. Over recent years there have been numerous press statements of medical waste being disposed of in an incorrect manner. People that have been most effected by medical waste have been the poor disadvantaged members of society. The incineration of medical waste has also caused much concern. Previously, civil society had not been given a platform to voice their concerns regarding the health impacts that health care waste and incineration has had on their quality of life, and only recently has civil society taken a stand to state that “enough is enough”, and have sort ways to voice their concerns in a legitimate manner.

In addition, claims were also made stipulating that the biggest problem in the effective management of Heath Care Waste lies with risk awareness, public exposure, incinerator capacity and the increasing need for a Solid and Sustainable National Health Care Strategy.

The unsafe disposal of health care waste (for example, contaminated syringes and needles) poses immense public health risks. Contaminated needles and syringes represent a particular threat as the failure to dispose of them safely may lead to dangerous recycling and repackaging which lead to unsafe reuse. Contaminated injection equipment may be scavenged from waste areas and dumpsites and either be reused or sold to be used again.

In addition to the public health risks, if not managed, direct reuse of contaminated injection equipment results in occupational hazards to health workers, waste handlers and scavengers. Where waste is dumped into areas without restricted access, children may come into contact with contaminated waste and play with used needles and syringes. Epidemiological studies indicate that a person who experiences one needle stick injury from a needle used on an infected source patient has risks of 30%, 1.8%, and 0.3% respectively of becoming infected with HBV, HCV and HIV.

Surely it is seem that the management of health-care waste requires increased attention and diligence to avoid the substantial disease burden associated with poor practice, including exposure to infectious agents and toxic substances. Incinerators provide an interim solution especially for developing countries where options for waste disposal such as autoclave, shredder or microwave are limited.

In order to address all the challenges at hand the Health Care Waste Forum Southern Africa has envisaged a national summit to ensure that best practice is promoted in order to ensure optimal operation of the national health care system. Themes that will be addressed in the congress program include:

· Investigating both new and existing legislation in health care waste management to secure a sustainable national health care waste management program

· Evaluating the treatment and disposal of medical waste

· Promoting awareness for health care waste at generation level that include all medical treatment facilities from hospitals, beauty salons to tattoo parlors

· Implementing a comprehensive industry action plan for short and long term challenges

In addition to the above the Forum will also outline objective guidelines toward the effective management of current operational difficulty with incinerators, including inadequate training of operators, waste segregation problems and poor maintenance.

As national forum we have dedicated ourselves to the development of strategies that will minimise risks and maximise opportunities.


Jones Road, Airport Grounds
South Africa

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