Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Image: The task force, including SEI’s Andriannah Mbandi and Philip Osano demonstrating the use of face masks and social distancing.
The Stockholm Environment Institute Africa (SEI) is supporting a government task force in developing guidelines and standard operating procedures for managing infectious waste from COVID-19 risk zones in Kenya.
Following a request from the Ministry of Health in April 2020, SEI Africa helped to identify and recommend experts in health and environment to join a task force that would develop guidelines and operating procedures for managing potentially infectious waste arising from COVID-19 risk areas in Kenya. The task force which includes the Ministry of Health, NEMA (The National Environment Management Authority), KEMRI (The Kenya Medical Research Institute), the Nairobi City County government and SEI, discussed the practicalities and challenges of managing potentially infectious waste in the different risk areas – homes, public spaces and retail areas, and quarantine zones – ultimately to ensure safe transportation and disposal in situations with limited incineration capacity.
After long deliberations within the task force, the Kenyan Government has formally adopted the new guidelines and the standard operating procedures for managing waste arising from the use of masks and other personal protective equipment. These have also been announced to the public by the Cabinet Secretary and Minister for Health (see attached guidelines). SEI plans to continue this partnership and make sure that the ongoing messaging to citizens is tailored in ways that resonates with communities and households.
In addition to the support for the Ministry, SEI is currently doing research and policy analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on environment more broadly, and air pollution, energy use and medical waste management more specifically (to learn more, follow these links: https://www.cleanairjournal.org.za/article/view/8227; https://www.sei.org/featured/covid-19-pandemic-raises-new-questions-about-the-health-impacts-of-air-pollution/ ).
You can reach out to: Dr. Philip Osano; Stockholm Environment Institute Africa; firstname.lastname@example.org and/or click on this link to learn more.