Private Health Sector Adopts Climate-smart Solid Waste Management

Jun 21, 2023

Photo Caption: Right: USAID Zambia Accessible Markets for Health Chief of Party Mrs. Mika Mwambazi Bwembya (in red shirt) and USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director Ms. Emily Rupp (3rd from right) with provincial government officials touring exhibition stands by solid waste recycling companies on June 15, 2023 at Njele Lodge in Ndola (Credit tmiladzi for JSH)

Private sector pharmacies, health clinics, provincial government and other participants from Copperbelt have partnered with the USAID Zambia Accessible Markets for Health Project to strengthen the private sector’s role in delivering quality health services. This includes taking a leadership role in adopting climate-smart solid waste management.

The Project on June 15 2023 held a public-private dialogue meeting at Njele Country Park Lodge in Ndola to promote exchange of ideas on initiatives to promote climate-smart solid waste management in the health sector. 

Globally, healthcare service provision is contributing 4 to 5% to the net emissions of greenhouse gasses. The supply chain for medicines and medical supplies in the health sector contributes about 71% of the net emissions from the sector.

“Here in Zambia, we often think of health care waste management in terms of how we handle ‘hazardous’ waste, yet the health care sector generates a lot of plastic, cardboard boxes, paper and biodegradable general waste that can – and should – be managed through climate smart waste management approaches of recycling, reuse and reduction, said acting USAID Deputy Mission Director Emily Rupp.

Ms. Rupp observed that Ndola district was a model of how the Government of the Republic of Zambia, at all levels of government, can partner with the private sector to develop a sustainable waste management system that will contribute to a clean, green, healthy and climate-smart environment.  

She added that public-private dialogue platforms can create networks and linkages to facilitate environmentally friendly waste management practices.  

“That is why USAID supports the Healthcare Federation of Zambia, to play a leadership role in identifying locally-led solutions and removing the barriers to private sector compliance with climate-smart, business-smart ways to achieve a green economy”, stated Ms. Rupp.

Photo Caption: Right: Nurse Phostina Chitoshi (in blue work suit) from Marybegg Clinic and Moddy Golosi Muleya, a Pharmacist from Mushili Pharmacy engaging a solid waste recycling company to learn more on how private sector health facilities can partner with them. (Credit tmiladzi for JSH)

The Assistant Secretary for Copperbelt Province Mr. Kennedy Malama echoed Ms. Rupp’s sentiments on the important role the private sector plays in sustainable solid waste management.

“I am happy that the USAID Zambia Accessible Markets for Health is contributing to climate smart solutions and has partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Ndola city council to strengthen the involvement of private sector in sustainable waste management in line with national laws”, said Mr. Malama

He commended the initiatives by enterprises in the district involved in waste recycling for promoting  a sustainable waste management system and contributing to a clean, green, healthy and climate-smart environment.