The World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon governments to address the problem of health care waste, which if poorly handled poses a risk of transmitting infectious diseases (including HIV) and of contaminating the environment (WHO 2012). The Government of Uganda is seeking to develop health care waste management (HCWM) strategies that comply with international standards, stating that HCWM should be part of the overall management of health care facilities (Ministry of Health [MOH] 2008).
To that end, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Uganda aimed to provide a lasting solution to waste disposal challenges in eastern Uganda using a sustainable approach to improve the working environment of health workers and prevent exposures that can result in transmission of new infections. USAID, through AIDS Support and Technical Assistance Resources, Sector I, Task Order 1 (AIDSTAR-One), established a centralized waste treatment and disposal facility through a public-private partnership (PPP) with Green Label Services Ltd. (GLSL) and the MOH, coupled with training of health care workers in HCWM in six districts in the Eastern Region: Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mbale, Kapchorwa, and Sironko.
To measure existing HCWM practices in the districts and capture changes ensuing from project activities, AIDSTAR-One developed a baseline survey and follow-up survey that were conducted in three of the districts. The surveys also detailed the quantities and categories of hazardous waste collected and buy-in from public sector and private sector facilities in and beyond the project area.