Reducing UPOPs and Mercury Releases from the Health Sector in Africa (Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia)

Project Summary

The overall objective of this full size GEF funded project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with WHO and the NGO Health Care Without Harm, is to implement best environmental practices and introduce non-incineration healthcare waste treatment technologies and mercury-free medical devices in four Sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia) to reduce harmful releases from the health sector.

Project Short Title:GEF/Regional Africa (UNDP)
Countries:Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia
Partners:World Health Organization (WHO), Health Care Without Harm (HCWH)
GEF Grant:6,453,195 USD
Co-financing:28,936,164 USD
Status:Completed (2020)
Year: 2020

Independent terminal evaluation for the GEF financed regional Africa HCWM project (Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia).

Year: 2020

Project’s technical lessons learnt report.

Year: 2019

Independent evaluation of project’s midterm progress.

Year: 2015

Project document of the GEF financed project.

Year: 2016

Zip folder containing HCWM training modules developed by GEF/Regional Africa project to train master trainers in Africa. Training package includes modules ranging from health care waste treatment, phasing out mercury, sanitation to emergency responses and National Health Care Waste Planning. It also includes training programme and workshop materials.

Year: 2016

A zip folder containing SOP templates for HCWM including pharmaceutical waste, mercury waste, long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and formaldehyde spillages.

Year: 2019

Specifications for personal protective equipment (PPE), consumables, logistic, transport and storage equipment as well as waste treatment equipment for health care waste management. Also considered as best practices for green, sustainable procurement on healthcare waste management, implemented by UNDP GEF regional Africa project.

Year: 2016

Excel file – List of estimated costs and equipment – including personal protective equipment (PPE), consumables, logistic, transport and storage equipment as well as waste treatment equipment – needed to set up onsite waste treatment solutions in healthcare facilities ranging in size, up to 300 beds hospital.

Year: 2019

Technical specifications, for non-mercury containing devices (mercury alternatives) including sphygmomanometers, cuffs, stethoscopes, batteries and digital thermometers; as an example of sustainable, green procurement practices, produced and implemented by UNDP GEF regional Africa project.

Year: 2020

Summary of support on healthcare waste management in Ghana during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This included policy briefs shared with the National COVID-19 team, monitoring and enforcement for infection prevention controls and support for local sanitizer producers.

Year: 2019

Project’s case study in Ghana related to ZoomPak Central Treatment Facility in Accra

Year: 2020

The goals of this Project Exit Strategy are to ensure the sustainability of impacts after finalization of the project.

Year: 2020

Report outlines autoclave maintenance trainings carried out online and remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Year: 2019

Monitoring report on biogas production resulting from the bio-digester of pathological waste in Dar es Salaam.

Year: 2019

The curriculum covers HCWM practices including the handling of mercury waste, financing and budgeting, gender mainstreaming, tools for rapid assessment of HCWM capacity, and International Conventions and National HCWM laws.

Year: 2020

The goal of this document to identify and analyze the major areas which indicates sustainability on facility level for Zambia at the final stage of the UNDP/WHO/HCWH regional Africa project.

Year: 2018

The social and environmental injustice analysis, including gender dimensions, carried out for the UNDP GEF project in Ghana, illuminates gender equality and human rights issues in the HCWM sector.

Year: 2020

Guidance and examples to replicate and scale up ideas demonstrated by the GEF regional Africa project. 1.Replication of capacity building on HCWM; 2.Replication of the set-up of on-site waste treatment systems; 3.Replication of the set-up centralized waste treatment facilities; 4.Replication of Mercury Phasing out in health facilities; 5.Scaling up of sustainable procurement; 6.Replication of the use of biodigester in health facilities.

Year: 2019

Project factsheet on best practices of mercury reduction strategies for the healthcare sector in Africa.

Year: 2019

Factsheet on best practices of non-incineration technologies within GEF financed UNDP/WHO/HCWH project in Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia.

Year: 2019

National Health Care Waste Management Plan prepared by Ministry of Health, Zambia.

Year: 2020

This guideline seeks to ensure that Health Care Waste (HCW) is managed effectively in compliance with existing international conventions that Ghana is a signatory to, national laws and regulations, and others to be passed in future. Recommendations for better management of HCW in the nation’s health care facilities have been presented in this document. Also, standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been developed to provide guidance to various levels of the health facilities.

Year: 2020

National HCWM Policy document endorsed by Ministry of Health, Ghana

Year: 2017


Year: 2017

National Policy and Guidelines for Health Care Waste Management in Tanzania.

Article – Tackling Zambia’s Medical Waste Problem

Zambia – Promoting non-incineration healthcare waste treatment technologies and phasing down mercury-containing products from health facilities

Article – À la croisée des cultures, installation à distance d’un autoclave à Toamasina

Madagascar – Overcoming COVID-19 limitations, Remote installation of autoclave in Madagascar

Article – How women help strengthen health systems

Empowering women makes health systems stronger in fight against COVID-19 in Africa. Also available in French (

Video – Autoclave Testing

Step-by-step video with instructions on testing autoclaves

Video – Autoclave Maintenance

Step-by-step video instructions on maintenance procedures of autoclaves

Video – From incineration to autoclaving

Project video from Madagascar – Demonstration of non-incineration waste treatment technology

Video – HCWM support for measles outbreak in Madagascar

Project video from Madagascar – HCWM support for the fight against the measles outbreak in Madagascar

Article – Ghana – The creeping mercury menace – Solution is here!

Article discusses the support provided to Ghana by UNDP, UNITAR and UNIDO to manage mercury releases. It also describes sources of mercury in the country including Artisinal and Small Scale Mining, cement production, waste incineration and mercury added products.

Article – UNDP Promotes Environmentally Friendly Healthcare Waste Management

Article describes UNDP support to commission of autoclaves at Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, the Koforidua Regional Hospital, and the Tegbi Health Centre, Keta. Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Winneba Trauma Hospital received personal protective equipment.

Article – Stakeholders urged to support and protect waste management actors amidst COVID-19

Article discusses a virtual meeting of health care waste management stakeholders in Ghana. It gives a snapshot of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the group including waste pickers/ transporters and discusses Ghana’s Waste Recovery Platform

UNDP’s Webinar on Health care waste management for COVID-19

Jointly organized by UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development and Nature, Climate Change and Energy teams. Presenters are Saleban Omar (UNDP HHD), Jan-Gerd Kühling (UNDP Consultant) and Ute Pieper (WHO and UNDP Consultant)




UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Etienne Gonin, Regional Technical Advisor


Margaret Montgomery, WASH Technical Officer

Healthcare Without Harm

Susan Wilburn, Sustainability Director

Healthcare Without Harm

Ruth Stringer, Science and Policy Coordinator

Technical Expert (UNDP – Project team)

Jan-Gerd Kuhling, Chief Technical Expert

Technical Expert (WHO – Project team)

Ute Pieper, Senior HCWM Expert

UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (Project team)

Selimcan Azizoglu, Regional Project Coordinator


Ghana Health Services, Ministry of Health, Ghana

Carl Osei, National Project Director

UNDP Ghana

Joel Ayim Darkwah, Programme Officer

UNDP Ghana (Project team)

Abena Nakawa, National Project Coordinator

Ministry of Environment, Madagascar


Ministry of Public Health, Madagascar

Hantanirina RAVAOSENDRASOA, Deputy National Project Director

UNDP Madagascar (Project team)

Solofo Raberahona, National Technical Expert

Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC), Tanzania

Honest Anicetus, National Project Director

UNDP Tanzania (Project team)

Deogratias Mkembele, National Project Coordinator


Ministry of Health, Zambia

Florence Kabinga Mwale, Deputy National Project Director

UNDP Zambia

Winnie Musonda, Assistant Resident Representative

UNDP Zambia (Project team)

Mazuba Mudenda Mwambazi, National Project Assistant