Environmental survey of medical services activities in Iraq
Medical services sector provides citizens with health care through the services it offers in fields of examination, treatment and surgery. While this sector endeavors to protect citizen’s health and prevent spread of disease, it might be a cause of effecting health and environmental hazards. This could happen if proper and safe methods are not applied in handling waste which is generated in the course of carrying out day‐to‐day work, and also, if such waste is not disposed of in an appropriate manner whether inside or outside health facilities. In particular, hazardous waste, containing pathological and infectious, agents and chemical and radioactive wastes may pose health hazards to patients and workers inside those facilities, and to the community and environment if such wastes are mixed with the rest of health facility waste and disposed of to the external environment without carrying out the necessary treatment. Hence, it has become essential to identify the amounts of waste generated and the methods applied in its collection, segregation, transportation and disposal. It is essential, as well, to identify the amounts of water consumed and wastewater generated, including treatment used to dispose of the latter, methods of dealing with gaseous pollutants resulting from waste incineration, workers in this field and the level of environmental awareness they have. All of that can be achieved through conducting an extended survey that includes health facilities. This survey is considered the first of its kind in Iraq.