Incinerators for the proper disposal of medical waste are to be constructed at Mabaruma and Pakera District Hospitals in Region One. Construction should be completed by the end of 2016 and should lead to better management of solid waste in the health sector.
Medical waste management
Regional Health Officer, Region One, Dr. Ceredel McWatt told Government Information Agency (GINA), that they are working with regional engineers at the level of the Ministry of Public Health in order to ensure a competent contractor is engaged to construct the incinerator. The total cost of the construction of the two incinerators is $26m.
Regional Health Officer, Region one, Dr. Ceredel Mc Watt
Meanwhile, Waste Management Consultant, Rufus Lewis while making a presentation on proper medical waste management at a recent meeting for Regional Health Officers, said that the proper management of solid waste starts with the separation of the different types of medical waste.
“On site waste should be segregated from infectious waste as well as non-infectious waste. In other words, in each ward we should have at least three containers, one for infectious waste, one for the sharps and other non-infectious waste.”
Healthcare waste management
A number of challenges were identified that may be inhibiting factors to the efficient practice of medical waste management. Some of these were; no appropriate bins and bags for proper disposal of the different types of waste; minimal safety and health programmes; poor sanitation of health care facility and its environment and; no bio-decontamination facilities which would remove bacteria, chemical and radioactive materials from employees bodies and clothing before leaving the health treatment environment.
Rufus Lewis, Solid Waste Management Consultant
Lewis urged Regional Health Officials to educate staff on proper waste disposal and to also ensure that the practices are followed through.
The construction of the incinerators at Region One is aimed at practicing better solid waste management in regional communities, especially at health facilities.
The advantages of proper medical waste disposal include the creation of a healthy atmosphere that is free from microbes thus minimising the risk of infection to staff, visitors and other people, cutting off unpleasant sights and bad odours, and also the reduction of harmful insects.