Institute measures for proper medical waste disposal- Govt urged

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Mr Findkci (2nd left), the CEO of Zoompak, taking the members of the Parliamentary Press Corps through the operations of the company

The Chief Executive Officer of Zoompak Transfer Station and Medical Waste Treatment Facility at Teshie in Accra, Mr Durmus Findkci, has urged the government to institute measures to control and monitor the disposal of medical and pathological waste generated by health institutions in Accra.

He said even though most of the hospitals and clinics in the city generated huge tons of medical and pathological waste, a number of them did not engage the right waste collection companies to segregate, collect, treat and dispose of such hazardous waste.

“A number of the hospitals and clinics engage waste collection companies which mix medical and pathological waste with household waste and throw them away together at the dump sites,” he said.

Danger to public safety

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) at the company’s premises last Saturday, Mr Findkci said, “Medical and pathology waste should be collected separately and by special practice and should be burnt at high temperatures in a special facility or buried properly.

“But what is happening currently is that we take medical and pathological waste to landfill sites and bury them, and this is dangerous for public health and the environment,” he said.

The members of the PPC visited the facility which is a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies to acquaint themselves with the company’s operations and the challenges it is confronted with.

The team also toured affiliated waste management outfits. They are the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant Limited (IRECOP) and Sewage Systems Ghana Limited, both at Korle Gonno, also in Accra, and the Adipa Waste Landfill Site, near Nsawam.

Time to regulate

Mr Findkci said the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that more than two million people globally were infected by waste generated by medical institutions annually.

He was concerned, therefore, that the lack of effective monitoring and supervision by the Ministry of Health had allowed many hospitals and clinics in Accra to engage the services of waste collection companies that did not have the expertise in carrying medical waste.

“Many waste management companies did not have the expertise and proper facilities to segregate, collect, transport, treat and dispose of  medical and pathological waste.

“Under the circumstances, it has become necessary for the government to monitor and control the operations of waste collection companies and make sure that the right things area done,” he said.