The Rotary Club of Tema has installed a modern incinerator for the Tema General Hospital to help the health facility manage its surgical and medical waste.
The GH¢100,000 equipment runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is made up of the burning chambers, a primary chamber which loads and starts the burning process and a secondary chamber for further burning to remove all hazardous materials into smoke, which comes out of the incinerator through a 40 feet chimney.
The previous incinerator used for the disposal of medical and surgical waste at the hospital broke down five years ago.
As a result, the hospital relied on an external contractor to handle and manage its surgical waste, a situation which meant, surgical and general waste could be left on the hospital’s premises for days.
The breakdown of the previous incinerator came to the notice of the President of the Rotary Club of Tema, Mr Mark Deiden, following a visit by members to the facility in the 2014/ 2015 Rotary year.
He said with support from its international partner, the Rotary Club of Odder in Denmark and some individuals and corporate organisations in Tema, the club raised funds to procure the incinerator.
He named the others as B. DEKS Educational Institute, Port Medical Centre, Narh-Bita Hospital and Everpure Ghana Limited, as well as individuals such as Nana Ato Dadzie, former Chief of Staff, Mr Djabanor Narh of Ernst and Young and Mr Philip Owiredu of Cal Bank.
Mr Deiden stressed the need for a proper maintenance system to be put in place to ensure a longer lifespan for the incinerator.
He said the hospital could also use the incinerator to generate some revenue by allowing other health facilities to use it for a fee.
The District Governor of the Rotary Club in Ghana, Mr Sam Worentetu, underscored the need for regular maintenance of the system to make it serve its purpose.
“This our unenviable distinction as a people with very low or totally deficient culture of maintenance is even more stark when the powers that be do not feel any close affinity to the object requiring maintenance. Thus a new minister sees an immediate need for a brand new 4x4 vehicle for his personal use but may not notice that the hospital ambulance just requires an oil change for it to give more service to the community, until the engine collapses,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of an incinerator, Mr Worentetu said in today’s world, hospital waste was becoming increasingly complex due to changing technologies and increase in the services that the hospitals perform for the community.
The Medical Director of the Tema General Hospital, Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, thanked the Rotary Club of Tema for the initiative and called on other institutions in Tema not to abandon the health facility since it was the only referral hospital in Tema.
Dr Opoku-Adusei reiterated his appeal to the government to consider rebuilding and expanding the facility, stressing that the hospital was the only referral point serving about 50 communities and 900,000 people in and around Tema.
The Deputy Minister of Transport and MP for Tema East, Mr Daniel Titus-Glover, said due to the increasing pressure on the facility, the hospital was unable to cope with the health care needs of the people. He promised to liaise with his colleague MPs in the hospital’s catchment area to lobby the government on the need to upgrade the Tema General Hospital to a regional hospital.
The Greater Accra Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Linda Van Otoo, also thanked all those who made the provision of the incinerator possible, stressing that it would go a long way to reduce the hazards faced by health workers and the general public.