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Title: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on medical waste management in Lebanon
Authors: Maalouf, Amani
Maalouf, Hani
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: COVID-19
Contamination risks
Infectious healthcare waste generation
Medical waste management
Issue Date: 2021
Part of: Waste Management & Research: The Journal for a Sustainable Circular Economy
Volume: 39
Issue: 1
Start page: 45
End page: 55
Worldwide, there is a growing concern about the negative effects of infectious medical waste produced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the contamination risks associated with waste management. Therefore, measures to ensure that medical waste is managed safely and in an environmentally sound manner will avoid negative health and environmental effects from such waste, thus protecting the health of patients, health workers and the public in general. Despite that infectious medical waste generation rate is important for management planning and policy development, there is a limitation on national data availability and its accuracy, particularly in developing economies. This study analyses the infectious healthcare waste generation rates and management patterns in Lebanon before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The estimated average of COVID-19-related infectious healthcare waste generation in this study is 39,035 kg per month or 1.3 tonnes per day, which constitute between 5% and 20% of total infectious healthcare waste in Lebanon. This study illuminates on the impact of COVID-19 on the existing challenges of waste management in Lebanon. It highlights the need for proper management and disposal of the amounts of medical waste generated to reduce contamination risks or related environmental threats, particularly during the pandemic. It also shows that Lebanon has a defective system for monitoring of waste from healthcare institutions and gaps in waste statistics. Finally, the study summarizes recommendations related to medical waste management, which can provide valuable insight for policymakers.
ISSN: 0734242X
DOI: 10.1177/0734242X211003970
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

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