News - Jul 1, 2024 Training targets better healthcare waste management in Papua New Guinea

Poorly handled healthcare waste and poor waste management ethics is a major problem in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Emissions from healthcare wastes due to poorly executed waste reduction and landfilling activities have led to adverse environmental impacts such as contamination and human exposure to infectious wastes. This results in elevated chance of disease and sickness for members of the community.

To address the issue, PacWastePlus and the PNG National Capital District Provincial Health Authority (NCDPHA) conducted a second pilot Healthcare Waste Management Training of Trainers workshop in Port Moresby on 27 May 2024.

Of 26 participants who attended the workshop, 16 were health care officers from ten selected Health Care centres in Port Moresby. They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to build their capacity to make a difference in their country.

“The training is very useful and informative. It gives us some critical insights into waste management,” said Mr. Tuve Upeguto, of NCDPHA.

For Ms. Rhonda Tisap, NCDPHA- Health Promotion Programme Coordinator, she said the training was one of the first training on Health Care Waste Management she has attended.

“It was a very important training, and I felt there was an excellent effort put into creating the training manual in both English and Tok Pisin which is a big time way forward in assisting us in conducting our own trainings.”

Ms. Samantha Lomutopa, NCDPHA’s Medical Laboratory Scientist, said the training was a good head start to address poorly handled healthcare waste, which is often ignored.

“I believe most PHA/Health facilities don’t have a system, plan or a policy in place to guide the waste management so the training was a very good head start. It is good to start at our own facility,” she said.

The newly trained trainers actively participated. Various issues related to healthcare waste management in the National Capital District of Port Moresby were discussed with the participants and several valuable insights were shared by participants and the trainers.

All the participants received a Certificate of Participation at the end of the training.

“The evaluation of the training based on how effectively each module was presented by the trainers, and how well each participant’s understanding of the information provided in the modules has been completed, and the course will now be rolled out to hospitals in PNG.  The support from PacWastePlus will assist the delivery initially into a further nine hospitals with remaining hospitals to be serviced directly by the trained staff from the initial project support,” said the PacWastePlus Technical Project Officer, Mr. Lance Richman.