UNICEF, the Canadian Government, and Gavi hand over medical waste transportation trucks to the government of Egypt

The trucks will support the government’s efforts to improve medical waste management.

22 May 2024
Vaccination Trucks
UNICEF Egypt/Basma Fathy/2024

Cairo, Egypt, 20 May 2024 – UNICEF, Gavi, and the Canadian government, on Monday, handed over 22 medical waste transportation trucks to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population.

The medical waste transportation trucks will contribute to safely dispose hazardous medical waste, in addition to 2 medical waste shredders with a capacity of 1,500 liters which are being installed in Cairo and Qena Governorates.

These supplies, worth over $2.4 million, are provided as part of Gavi’s COVID-19 Delivery Support (CDS) programme implemented by UNICEF and funded by the generous contributions from the government of Canada. Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, stated, "the automation of the waste disposal system comprises a Waste Management Unit, a template for waste management contracts, monitoring and follow-up records and documentation, strict oversight of the system, and the granting of licenses to healthcare facilities and private companies for the transportation and disposal of hazardous medical waste."

Abdel Ghaffar added, “the safe disposal system for medical waste operates with 1,200 personnel, 48 shredding, and sterilization devices across the governorates, 175 waste incinerators, and 243 vehicles that meet technical requirements. He noted that approximately 41,000 tons of medical waste are disposed of annually.”

“Safety of medical personnel and the general population is an utmost priority.  UNICEF will continue to support Egypt in advancing the health facilities and services provided to children and families.” says Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.

“Also, I would like to express my gratitude to the Government of Canada and Gavi for this timely delivery, which will definitely help in supporting the Egyptian government’s efforts in protecting health and the environment”, added Hopkins.

H.E. Louis Dumas, Ambassador of Canada to Egypt said, “today’s ceremony not only marks a significant milestone in the enduring Canada-Egypt relationship but serves as a reminder that we need to build partnerships to address global challenges.  This initiative in 2024 is also significant because this year marks seven decades of Canada-Egypt bilateral relations. Canada is proud to work collaboratively with the Government of Egypt and UNICEF to provide needed support to help strengthen health systems, particularly in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The support provided to procure the 22 medical-waste transportation vehicles will help to reduce the risks of human-born infection, the spread of infections and the emergence of epidemics. Canada is committed to working together with global partners to protect populations from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and to be better prepared to face the crises of the future.”

This intervention is a part of UNICEF’s ongoing support to enhance immunization nationwide.

In Egypt, the government seeks to reduce emissions of persistent organic compounds. Additionally, compliance with waste management laws and regulations is a priority, and a nationwide plan is currently being implemented.

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