COVID-19 and Healthcare Waste Management (HCWM) in Myanmar: Perspectives from the Triple R (Response, Recovery, and Redesign)

In Health Care Waste Management and COVID 19 Pandemic: Policy, Implementation Status and Vaccine Management
Chapter: 8
Book Chapter
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The sound management of healthcare waste (HCW) has been receiving increasing global attention, now even more so given the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncontrolled fluctuations in generation quantities, the composition of HCW as well as the significant impacts it poses on public health and the environment require a more dynamic and cohesive response from policymakers, particularly in developing countries. Guided by a desk review and consultations with key country stakeholders, this study aims to examine the healthcare waste management (HCWM) system in Myanmar. In so doing it identifies a range of challenges faced both prior and during the pandemic and documents opportunities to address systemic gaps for building longer-term resilience. Country-level discussions underlined the importance of pursuing a more inclusive and integrated approach by way of linking (1) immediate responses, (2) broader recovery policies, and (3) a forward-looking redesign of infrastructure and institutions, all aimed at aligning interests around bold and transformative change for mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and supporting sustainable HCWM in Myanmar.