What is Healthcare Waste?

The term health-care waste includes all the waste generated within health-care facilities, research centers and laboratories related to medical procedures. In addition, it includes the same types of waste originating from minor and scattered sources, including waste produced in the course of healthcare undertaken in the home (e.g. home dialysis, self-administration of insulin, recuperative care). Between 75% and 90% of the waste produced by health-care providers is comparable to domestic waste and usually called “non-hazardous” or “general health-care waste”. It comes mostly from the administrative, kitchen and housekeeping functions at health-care facilities and may also include packaging waste and waste generated during maintenance of health-care buildings. The remaining 10–25% of health-care waste is regarded as “hazardous” and may pose a variety of environmental and health risks.
(Source : Safe management of wastes from health-care activities Second edition, WHO)

Situation of Healthcare Waste in Nepal

Nepal’s commitment to accelerate Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to ensure equitable access to quality health service through Nepal Health Sector Strategy (NHSS)-2015 to 2020 depends on the improved quality of care at service delivery points. Inevitably, the delivery of quality health care to more people generates greater amounts of waste. The health sector itself is a major contributor and producer of waste. Besides general solid waste it produces a substantial amount of hazardous waste including and not limited to laboratory, chemical and pharmaceutical waste, sharps such as needles, and bio-hazardous waste such as samples of potentially infected lab cultures, body parts and additionally an increasing amount of e-waste.

An assessment was carried out in selected 15 small health facilitates in Kathmandu after the 2015 earthquake by the Ministry of Health and population (MoHP) where it was it was found that Nepal’s health care waste generation rate is 1.35 kg per patient per day, out of which approximately 20% are infectious waste (MoHP, 2015). However, because of non-segregation and thus the consequent mixing of infectious and non-infectious waste, the actual rate of infectious waste is higher: 27% of risk waste is being mixed with other non-risk waste, resulting in a total of 55 % risk waste (MoHP 2015, Kathmandu). Presently infectious waste of all types in Nepal ends up in landfills, on public land or is, in the worst-case scenario, just burnt on site (MoHP 2015, Kathmandu). If this hazardous waste is not properly managed it can have adverse environmental impacts which have implications for the integrity of ecosystems, natural resources and human health.

Why this Workshop?

Currently the necessary healthcare waste management systems at national and sub national level and practices regarding Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare facilities (HCFs) are not in place in Nepal. The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) together with concerned line ministries and supporting partners like GIZ, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, WaterAid, SNV, are jointly organizing this learning workshop on “Integrated Healthcare Waste Management and WASH in HCFs”.

More About this Workshop


Exchange learning on sustainable practices of healthcare waste management and WASH in HCFs that ensures the equitable access to quality healthcare services by reducing infections and adverse impacts on public health and environment.


The learning workshop brings together Nepali and international key actors to raise awareness for the current issues in IHCWM and WASH in Nepal and provide a forum for knowledge exchange for the participants. Knowledge exchange is promoted by presentations, panel discussions, thematic working groups, an innovative market place showcasing relevant technologies and initiatives and the final summary concluding the key lessons learned and the way forward for Nepal.

Expected Output

  1. Exchange of knowledge, tools, technology and practice of sustainable healthcare waste management system and WASH in healthcare facilities at subnational level.
  2. To advocate for global and national actions to improve healthcare waste management and WASH in HCFs and support in decision making and resource allocation.
  3. Common understanding on urgency of joint effort at subnational level to address the issues of unsafe management of hazardous wastes and poor practice of WASH in HCFs.
  4. National and international networking, alliance, peer learning, inter and intra sectoral cooperation for learning and innovations.
  5. Roadmap for Integrated Health Care Waste Management for Nepal with the provided IHCWM model.
  6. Endorsement of model and commitment of stakeholders to implement the Model.