7.6.3  Burying without burning

Do not bury used injection equipment in an open cardboard box.

This method of disposing of medical waste involves digging a deep hole (known as a sharps pit) in a fenced area and burying the waste in the safety box, or another sealed container. If possible, the pit should be constructed with cement walls and a water-tight cover. It may be difficult to find a large enough space for repeated disposal of waste by this method. If the hole is not deep enough, the waste might become exposed when the top soil is washed away by rain or wind. Children or animals may dig up the waste unless the pit is protected by a secure fence. For these reasons, this method should be regarded as a last resort as the primary method of waste disposal. However, a pit should be constructed for burial of any small fragments remaining after waste has been burnt in an incinerator or metal container.

In the next study session we turn to other aspects of immunization programme management, in particular how you can increase the coverage rate in your catchment area.

7.6.2  Incineration and other methods of burning waste

Summary of Study Session 7