Today, Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden, delivered the equipment for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic generated waste to prof. Vlado Đajić, PhD in Medical Sciences, general director of the University Clinical Centre of Republika Srpska. Procurement of a vertical steriliser, a specialised vehicle for transport of waste and protective equipment for employees in the value of BAM 101,677 was financed by Sweden and the procurement process was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH, so as to provide support to the domestic authorities with proper management of the COVID-19 generated waste.

In addition to the equipment for the RS UCC and through the UNDP project, Sweden provided sterilisers for the clinical centres in Mostar, Bijeljina, Tuzla and Brčko, specialised vehicles for transport of waste for Bijeljina and Sarajevo, protective equipment for the medical workers in 24 institutions as well as specialised training for 286 medical employees. The total value of purchased equipment is over BAM 600,000.

Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden in BiH, stated on this occasion “If the infectious waste, generated in medical institutions and private homes because of the pandemic, is not collected and treated properly, it can increase the spreading of Covid-19. It poses a significant risk for medical staff, patients, and waste management employees as well as the rest of society.  Sweden support domestic authorities to safely manage medical waste through this donation of medical equipment to Banja Luka, Sarajevo Mostar, Bijeljina, Tuzla and Brčko including three special vehicles for transport of waste and protective equipment.”

Steliana Nedera, UNDP BIH Resident Representative, emphasized “In addition to health and economic crisis, COVID-19 pandemic causes negative impact on the environment.  Within the UNDP project, funded by Sweden, a rapid assessment of infectious waste management was conducted within six hospitals and 20 health centres that were affected severely by COVID-19 pandemic.  By purchasing this equipment, personal safety of workers who are dealing with such waste will be improved, and at the same time better control of infection will be achieved within the institution.”

The lack of an adequate waste management system, particularly in the area of collection, treatment and processing of COVID-19 waste generated in medical institutions and households with registered cases poses a danger to human health and the environment. Effective waste management is of an essential value in order to minimise the potential secondary influence of COVID-19 to health and the environment.

Prof. Vlado Đajić, general director of the University Clinical Centre of Republika Srpska, expressed his gratitude for receiving this highly valuable donation that will contribute to the improvement of appropriate disposal of infectious waste,  whose quantity raised significantly during  COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the practical importance of this donation to health professionals, this demonstrates overall support to professionals who care continuously about patients at this challenging times. 

Procurement of the equipment increased the safety of employees who get in any form of contact with the generated waste and it has also ensured a better control of the infection inside the institution. Activities implemented within the UNDP project “Environmentally Sound Management of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Industrial and Hazardous Waste Sectors in BiH”, funded by Sweden.

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