Home Sci-TechEnvironment Kenya Will Bury All Covid-19 Vaccine Waste Materials, Here Is Why

Kenya Will Bury All Covid-19 Vaccine Waste Materials, Here Is Why

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Kenya has procured auto-disable syringes as a measure for infection prevention, and adequate safety boxes for proper storage and disposal of used syringes, as it prepares to administer Covid-19 vaccines.

The government has assured that extra precautions will be taken in the management of waste related to vaccination.

The Covid-19 vaccine taskforce says vaccine waste materials will be managed through the Injection Safety and Medical Waste Policy, which has been adapted to the pandemic context.

“Our plan is very elaborate – safety boxes for disposal of sharps, followed by incineration and deep burial, will be used to dispose of used injection equipment including the tiny vaccine jars during the inoculation process, ” a member of the taskforce, who sought anonymity, told the Nation..

This means there won’t be any recycling whatsoever.

According to the Rockefeller Foundation, consistent and sustainable waste disposal is a pre-existing challenge particularly among large slums in and around large cities such as Nairobi.

The foundation argues that incineration poses a challenge in the Kenyan context as it is 15 times more expensive than disposal and recycling.

For example, formal retail locations and chains may be able to directly send their waste for incineration but it is unlikely that informal retailers operating street stalls have the means to do so.

As a better option, small and informal retailers store protective and disinfecting waste for 72 hours then take it to a local market, where it can be collected for incineration.

Vaccination plan

As per the vaccine deployment plan, the waste management plan that the Ministry of Health has adopted is in line with the national healthcare waste management plan.

It will include identification of waste disposal sites and personnel to manage it, estimation of the number of safety boxes needed, bundling of waste disposal boxes with vaccines and syringes during delivery and at the disposal sites, and procedures for the disposal of all waste generated, irrespective of the vaccination site.

Special attention will be paid to ensure waste management in schools and other outreach sites is done properly. There are also plans for transportation and disposal of the waste from outreach posts.

The ministry, which has been training 400 people from all the counties, included waste management in its training material and documentation in efforts to fully equip the trainees.