The government has contracted Zoomlion Medical Waste, a subsidiary of Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) to properly dispose of medical waste generated from the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise nationwide.
In an interview with the Graphic Online on Tuesday (August 31, 2021), Upper West Regional Manager for Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Volsuuri said the purpose of collecting the COVID vaccination medical waste in the region by Zoomlion Medical Waste, is to avoid any further public health crises in the country.
He added that to be able to achieve the purpose, the company has deployed specialise waste bins to all the vaccination centers, adding that at the end of the day, the specialised waste van will go round to collect all the waste and stored it for onward safe disposal in Accra.
"Once it is hazardous, if it is not collected for properly disposed of, it can create public health for all Ghanaians especially, once it is waste generated from covid 19. We all know it is an infectious disease", Mr. Volsuuri said.
Zoomlion Medical Waste, he mentioned, is well prepared because officers are in all the Districts and are working in about 27 vaccination centers across the Region.
According to him, the company has an Autoclave method for disposing of medical waste and therefore, at the end of the day, all waste collected would be sent to Accra to be disposed of through the autoclave plant.
“The benefits to be derived from the exercise has to do with the promotion of public health, once public health is promoted, it would be a benefit to Zoomlion because that is exactly what they are in for”.
Mr Volsuuri further stated that Zoomlion Ghana Limited has played a critical role in helping the government to control the spread of the COVID-19 since the first positive case of the virus was confirmed in Ghana on March 12, 2020.
These, he said comprise the disinfection of schools, markets, lorry parks, public places of convenience, churches, mosques, security installations, and many more.
He explained that “Now, one of the critical areas to consider as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned has to do with the disposal of the medical waste. Healthcare wastes are potentially dangerous and polluting, and their safe management and disposal is a matter of continuing public and professional concern”.
“Errors in waste management continue to occur at every point of the disposal chain. Bloodborne virus transmission is the greatest concern, though soft tissue, enteric and respiratory infections are recorded. However, with care, the infection risk can be minimized”.
“The implications of bloodborne virus infection, the wider public health implications, and potential environmental impact mandate great care in the handling, packaging, storage, and processing of wastes” he further stated.
He was of the view that medical waste treatment facilities are, therefore, needed in other parts of the country, hence, the need to fall on Zoomlion Ghana Limited because of its available resources and prompt response to carry out the exercise.