TechNet-21 - Forum

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  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. Saturday, 24 July 2004
POST 00700E : GLASS SYRINGES DISPOSAL Follow-up on Post 00696E 24 July 2004 _______________________________ Two contributions were received on this topic of glass syringes disposal following Philippe Jaillard's request (Post 00696E). The first is from Chambard-Benalleg (mailto:[email protected]) Solution to this problem isn't obvious. Would there be for example glass artists who could use such glass waste? The idea comes to me from the example of grey ebony in Central Africa. It is more or less a waste from industrial forest exploitation. I was told one day in the Congo that it was given to sculptors who transform it into beautiful sculptures. It helps them earn their living too. The second is from d'Anthony Battersby (mailto:[email protected]) from the United Kingdom. Anthony attached a picture to his contribution. _______________________________ This situation is also a problem for developing countries. We are faced with mountains of glass vials (vaccines, ampoules and serums), which can not be destroyed using the currently available means (incinerators). Some countries do have plastic recycling facilities, but what about recycling glass on a large scale? Currently we keep on piling up these wastes, or in the worse case, we bury them. Madame Chambard-Benalleg, Consultant for Logistics Health and EPI UNICEF ___________________________ Dear Philippe, Your question is a good one. My first question is why on earth would you buy a pre-filled presentation, it is the most expensive way of buying vaccine, the most bulky and the hardest to dispose of. If you want single dose buy single dose in a vial. In my experience if you burn the glass syringes the piston will be destroyed (it is plastic) and the needle may or may not come out, it has a plastic seal to the glass (see attached picture), but that is all. The sort of waste in the picture could be safely buried if you have somewhere to bury it. It could also be swept up and put into a safety box and sent to the municipality if the municipality has a system for handling potentially hazardous waste. It would not be a good idea to just sweep it up and put it straight into a municipal skip. There is also a problem when the pre-filled vaccine requires reconstitution. I have seen the following practice. draw up the diluent with the pre-filled syringe and then express the reconstituted vaccine into the diluent vial and draw it into a new conventional disposable to inject. This is done for two reasons, nurses are worried that the needle will be blunt having drawn up the vaccine and they often find the pre-filled syringes too small and fiddley to use for injecting. So they use the pre filled syringe a conventional syringe and two needles for a single injection! There is no answer other than to say, buy vaccine in a presentation that you can cope with. Pre-filled is designed for rich countries where staff costs are an issue, where waste disposal systems are allegedly good, and where vaccine cost is not a prime issue (eg in UK where right now people are willing to pay GBP 120 for a single dose of mumps vaccine). So avoid the problem and buy your vaccines in the appropriate presentation. Best wishes Anthony Battersby ______________________________________________________________________________ Visit the TECHNET21 Website at You will find instructions to subscribe, a direct access to archives, links to reference documents and other features. ______________________________________________________________________________ To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to : mailto:[email protected] Leave the subject area BLANK In the message body, write unsubscribe TECHNET21E ______________________________________________________________________________ The World Health Organization and UNICEF support TechNet21. The TechNet21 e-Forum is a communication/information tool for generation of ideas on how to improve immunization services. It is moderated by Claude Letarte and is hosted in cooperation with the Centre de internationale en san, Canada ( ______________________________________________________________________________

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