A NEW DECADE, A NEW HECAF!
On 1 January 2020 HECAF's Health Care Waste Management Program officially became Health Environment Climate Action Foundation (HECAF 360)
Former HECAF, now HECAF 360 was established in 1994. The Health Care Waste Management Program was launched in 2006 built around an ageing and refurbished autoclave. Today HECAF's Health Care Waste Management Program is widely recognised for its pioneering appropriate technology solutions to managing harmful pathological and clinical waste.
GUIDELINES & PRINCIPLE
Make hospitals and other health care facilities SAFE, for patients, for staff and for the communities in which the hospitals and clinics are located.
HECAF 360 is committed to the elimination of incineration of medical waste throughout the country.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the mantra governing every implementation of a Health Care Waste Management project.
HECAF founded National Kidney Center (NKC), the largest dialysis center in Nepal. Although the Kidney Center was opened without any safe health care waste management system in the beginning, the need for such a system was quickly realized. HECAF designed and implemented its own safe health care waste management system that now serves as a model in Nepal and for other developing countries of the world. In 1999 first time in the history safe and environmental friendly Health Care Waste Management Program system was designed and implemented an innovative system of waste segregation, autoclave disinfection, recycling, and safe disposal of health care waste based on Zero Waste Principle at National Kidney Center. This experience has been followed by other hospitals under the technical assistance of HECAF.
Pioneered First Safe Health Care Waste Management System in Nepal
Diagnostic Assessment of health care waste in hospitals and other health care facilities are carried out to quantify the volume of waste generated and identify gaps in existing health care waste management systems at those health care facilities. The methodology of diagnostic assessment of health care waste was developed by Mahesh Nakarmi, director and health care waste management specialist of health care waste management program of HECAF. In 2007, under the guidance of Mahesh Nakarmi, the first assessment was carried out in the dialysis facilities of Kathmandu Valley as part of a student’s project during a Health Care Waste Management Course under the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Based on this assessment the methodology was modified.
Diagnostic Assessment on Health Care Waste Management
Collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO)
In 2007, HECAF’s pioneering work on safe health care waste management at National Kidney Center in Nepal has been recognized and acknowledged by the World Health Organization in 2007 and shared at international conferences on health care waste management. WHO-Nepal and HECAF have collaborated in the creation of training and awareness-raising materials about health care waste segregation and the hazards of mercury in the health care environment. WHO widely distributes a HECAF video on how to replicate the non-burn technologies deployed by HECAF at the National Kidney Center. During the first collaborative efforts, a documentary film was produced that illustrated how to implement safe health care waste management system that WHO endorsed and encouraged.
PROJECTS HECAF 360
Making Nepal's Waste Management Safer
HECAF has implemented Health Care Waste Management projects in over 25 in-patient hospitals throughout the country. These multi-bed facilities can now recycle much of the waste they generate, including pathological wastes. Each project begins with an elaborate diagnostic assessment of the kinds of wastes being generated and an evaluation of the safest and most effective methods of reusing, recycling or disposing of the waste.
Clinics and out-patient treatment centers in both urban and rural environments also generate health care waste and pose risks to patients, staff and the community at large if the waste generated is not properly treated and processed. Just as with the large multi-bed hospitals, clinics and out patient centers rely on a careful diagnostic evaluation before any project is designed and implemented.
It's not just hospitals and clinics that generate health care waste. Pharmaceutical waste is also a major problem once products exceed their use-by date.Expired pharmaceuticals must be handled in a safe and responsible manner when being disposed of HECAF has devised a program that can safely recycle a great of the the waste from expired pharmaceuticals.
In Nepal schools are also generating potentially infectious waste because of a recent Government of Nepal policy making menstrual hygiene pads available to schoolgirls. The safe disposal of these sanitary pads is an issue that HECAF has also addressed.
Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages "rethinking" what waste is and "redesigning" how waste is handled so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or waterways. As much as possible HECAF deploys Zero Waste principles in its Health Care Waste Management work.
Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that works to transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint. Health Care Without Harm is a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice and acts locally as a community anchor for sustainability.
GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL
The Government of Nepal and especially its Ministry of Health have long supported HECAF in its Health Care Waste Management Program.
The Ministry's willingness to confront the potential public health disaster presented by careless and irresponsible disposal of health care wastes was instrumental in the implementation and dissemination of HECAF's pioneering waste management work.