Canada provides USD 1 million to strengthen Maldives’ medical waste management

Maldivian Health Minister Ahmed Naseem (CR) attends a virtual ceremony at Health Ministry on April 6, 2021 to launch a project by Canada and WHO to strengthen medical waste management in Maldives. (Photo/Health Ministry)

The Canadian government, in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), has approved a CAD 1.35 million (USD 1.08 million) project to support Maldives combat COVID-19 and strengthen medical waste management.

Health Ministry states the project will allow the Maldivian health system to dispose of medical waste in an environmentally sustainable way - addressing the current Maldivian administration’s policy on how waste management policies impact climate change.

The project ‘disinfection of medical waste’ was inaugurated in a virtual ceremony at the Health Ministry headquarters in Male’ on Tuesday morning.

The ceremony was attended by Maldivian Health Minister Ahmed Naseem, Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives David Mckinnon, and Acting WHO Representative to Maldives Dr. Shushil Dev Pant.

Speaking during the ceremony, Health Minister Naseem thanked Canada and WHO for their assistance to the Maldivian people.

Under the project, 40 autoclaves will be installed in health facilities in the atolls in order to strengthen the medical waste management process, and medical waste management facilities will be established in 10 atolls that do not have such facilities at present.

Health Ministry states the safe disposal of medical waste is crucial for protection against communicable diseases such as COVID-19 as well as other germs. And that the project will therefore strengthen the safety of health workers and patients, along with bringing an end to incineration of medical waste and minimizing the impact on the environment.

Maldives has established national healthcare waste management policies and strategies with assistance from WHO, and successfully concluded a pilot project of medical waste management in L. Atoll.