Medical Waste Management Gets a Boost: Cameroon Embarks on Incineration Journey

Yaounde, Cameroon – In a bid to tackle the significant burden of medical waste and ensure safer healthcare environments, Cameroon has embarked on a journey to establish nationwide medical waste incineration facilities. This initiative aligns with the country’s commitment to improve healthcare service delivery and environmental sustainability.

Challenges in Medical Waste Management

Cameroon faces numerous challenges in managing medical waste. Limited infrastructure, inadequate collection and transportation systems, and a burgeoning healthcare sector contribute to overflowing landfills and environmental pollution. Improper waste management practices can expose healthcare workers, communities, and the environment to harmful pathogens, toxins, and hazardous materials.

Incineration: A New Frontier

To address these challenges, the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health has identified the establishment of medical waste incinerators as a crucial step in improving healthcare waste management. Incineration offers several advantages over traditional disposal methods such as landfilling and open burning. The process effectively eliminates pathogens, reduces volume, and converts waste into sterile ash.

Phase One: Pilot Project

The first phase of the project involves the installation and commissioning of a pilot incinerator in Yaounde. This facility will serve as a model for future nationwide implementation. The government has also established a committee to develop a comprehensive national strategy for medical waste management, including regulations, standards, and operational procedures.

Benefits of Incineration

  • Reduces infectious disease transmission
  • Eliminates potential environmental contamination
  • Conserves valuable resources
  • Provides energy through heat recovery
  • Saves landfill space

Stakeholder Involvement

The project has involved extensive stakeholder engagement, including hospitals, healthcare providers, waste management companies, and local communities. Their input is crucial in ensuring the successful implementation of the program.


1. How will the project be funded?

The project is funded by a combination of government resources and private sector investments.

2. When will the nationwide incineration program be implemented?

The implementation timeline is still being developed but is expected to be gradual, starting with key regions.

3. What are the environmental benefits of incineration?

Incineration reduces air pollution by capturing harmful gases and converting them into harmless substances.

4. How will the project impact healthcare costs?

The cost savings from reduced healthcare-associated infections and environmental remediation are expected to outweigh the investment costs over time.

5. What are the community engagement measures?

The government is working with local communities to raise awareness about the project and ensure their involvement in the decision-making process.


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