Medical Waste Management

About the Project

The project will promote best practices and techniques for health-care waste management with the aim of minimizing or eliminating releases of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to help countries meet their obligations under the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The project will also support these countries in phasing-down the use of Mercury containing medical devices and products, while improving practices for Mercury containing wastes with the objective to reduce releases of Mercury in support of countries’ future obligations under the Minamata Convention. Finally, because the project will improve the healthcare waste management chain (e.g. classification, segregation, storage, transport and disposal) it is assumed that it will reduce the spread of infections both at healthcare facility level as well as in places where healthcare waste is being handled.

The project is being developed because the generation of healthcare waste (HCW) is rapidly increasing in each of the four project countries, as a result of expanding healthcare systems, increased utilization of single-use items, and poor segregation practices. As an unintended consequence, the resulting larger healthcare waste quantities and their subsequent treatment (often in low technology incinerators), is resulting in increased releases of POPs and Mercury.

Expected Results

  • Technical guidelines to establish mid-term evaluation criteria and technology allocation formula developed and disseminated and teams of national experts on BAT/BEP at the regional level built.
  • Country capacity to assess, plan, and implement healthcare waste management (HCWM) developed and the phase-out of mercury in healthcare built
  • Institutional capacities to strengthen policies and regulatory framework and to develop a national action plan for HCWM and mercury phase-out enhanced.
  • Strengthened medical waste management systems through introduction of non-incineration methods by installing autoclaves in 3 big hospitals (University Teaching Hospital, Kabwe General and Ndola General hospitals). The autoclaves have reduced air pollution that is emanating from incinerators affecting public health and contributing to global warming



Project start date:

March 2015

Estimated end date:

December 2020

Focus area:

  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Zambia

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Global Environment Fund Truste
  • Delivery in previous fiscal year

    UNDP Around the world

    You are at UNDP Zambia 
    Go to UNDP Global