Strengthening waste management in public health emergencies (June 2022)

TDDA supports Cameroon to develop waste management procedures to protect health


Waste management workshop participants

TDDA Cameroon recently supported the Government to develop and validate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for waste management in public health emergencies.


Working alongside the Ministry of Environment, we provided technical assistance and financial support to a workshop held in Mbankomo (21-24 June 2022), involving all of the key sectors represented on Cameroon’s National One Health Platform (NOHP).



Waste management and health security – how are they linked?


During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized Cameroon needed a robust system for dealing with waste products, like used gloves, masks and tests. Without careful management, these items were biohazards that could endanger human and animal health as well as the environment. This has led us to increase our focus on waste management in the fourth year of our programme, as a component of the National Action Plan for Health Security.


« It is important to recognize that human health depends on a healthy environment », explains Dr Yannick Kamga, who leads the TDDA team in Cameroon. « With these SOPs, waste management in public health emergencies will be more effective and harmonized across the country, reducing the risks to people’s health. This achievement, driven by TDDA, is sure to help the country even after the end of the project. »


What next?


At the end of the workshop, the group resolved to press forward to ensure the SOPs are fully adopted. While this initial work focused on waste management in health emergencies, the NOHP also agreed to work on harmonizing the SOPs for waste management in normal situations.


Supporting the One Health approach


Since TDDA began in 2019, we have assisted governments to establish and improve National One Health Platforms, which are designed to strengthen coordination between the numerous agencies responsible for human, animal and environmental health. As well as pooling the skills and resources of a wide range of ministries to improve health security, we also advocate for all parts of society to be represented in these mechanisms to ensure policies and plans reflect the needs of all people.