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Press Release

Seeking better ways of managing medical waste

By EUNICE KILONZO

16 billion injections are administered worldwide every year. Safely disposing of the needles and other waste from health care is a challenge because of the risk of infection.

It is time for doctors’ rounds in Ward 1 at the Coast General Provincial and Referral Hospital.
The doctors and nurses move from bed to bed giving tablets, fixing drip lines and giving injections.
After giving one of the patients an injection, a nurse in a white hijab drops the used needle in a yellow box labelled “Sharps Only” before moving to another bin where she drops the soiled cotton swab and gloves.
Every ward in the hospital has the conspicuous red, yellow, and black waste bins.
They might not mean much to an ordinary person, but to the workers here, they are life-changing. Ten years ago, the needles, cotton wool and gloves would have been dumped into the same bin.
The hospital’s deputy nursing officer, Mr Stephen Masha, says the institution produces 60-80kg of infectious and highly infectious waste per day.
Each patient produces about 0.2kg of waste per day, 20 per cent of which is infectious. Left lying around, this waste provides a breeding ground for infections and diseases and poses a serious threat to those who come across it.
Salome Baya and Jaribu Khamis know this only too well. In November 2013, just a month after she began working at the hospital, Ms Baya, 32, was cleaning the labour ward when she came upon a stack of papers on the floor. When she picked it up, she felt something prick her finger.
“I knew it was a needle. It got stuck on my finger. I flushed my finger under running water before going to see a doctor, who examined my hand and gave me a PEP,” she recalls.

Source: www.nation.co.ke August 18, 2014. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI 

 

Bontech to build first non-incineration medical waste treatment system in Windhoek Namibia

By NEW ERA

The City of Windhoek is currently constructing two medical waste treatment facilities in the northern industrial area at a cost of N$50 million.
During the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday Windhoek City Mayor Muesee Kazapua said there is a shortcoming in the current disposal and treatment of medical waste that calls for the establishment of facilities to safely treat medical waste, as the current facilities no longer have the capacity to adequately dispose of and process the amount of medical waste in the city.
Medical waste includes discarded biological products, such as blood or human tissue removed from operating rooms, morgues, laboratories or other medical facilities. It also includes bedding, bandages, syringes and other materials used in treating patients.
“The facility will be used for the disposal and processing of waste generated by medical healthcare facilities, pharmacies, veterinary services, blood transfusion and other services associated with medical care,” he said.
Kazapua further said Windhoek is no more as clean a city as it used to be – especially the informal settlements – and the failure to responsibly manage medical waste, whether in storage, transportation, treatment or the eventual disposal, presents a health risk and threat to the environment.
“Environmental management is fast becoming a central discipline worldwide and concepts such as sustainable development, cleaner production and pollution prevention are continually brought to our attention,” the city’s mayor explained.
He said the facility was designed following consultations and inputs from generators of medical waste. “The facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, carefully chosen to be able to sustainably treat most of the medical waste generated in Windhoek,” Kazapua elaborated.
The plants would also render services to surrounding towns, such as Rehoboth, Gobabis and Okahandja: “The facility will also serve as a skills transfer centre, as it will be open to other local authorities to gather experience and expertise in the sustainable management of medical waste. This will positively impact how waste is managed in Namibia as a whole,” he said.
The two plants include one wet autoclave (a pressure chamber used to sterilise equipment by subjecting them to high-pressure saturated steam) and a diesel-fired incinerator that will burn the waste material. Both systems will have air pollution cleaning equipment to ensure potential contaminants are eliminated.

Source: www.newera.com.na

 

A New Medical Waste Treatment System in KHUH

By KING HAMAD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

King Hamad University Hospital has started to treat the medical waste into general waste inhouse by using the new technology of medical waste treatment system (industrial autoclave) for the first time in Bahrain.
The new system is based on steam sterilization treatment in an autoclave unit. This process will treat all types of medical waste in to solid or liquid form which may present threat of infection to humans and disposed as general waste in the landfill area which is safe to the environment.
Treatment through steam sterilization autoclave includes three stages to treat medical waste starting with vacuum, going through steam and ending with ventilation.
Heating stage shall include pressurized saturated steam in the chamber that reaches up to 145 degree centigrade for 30 minutes. Each complete treatment cycle should last not less than 45-40 minutes. After this stage of treatment, the decontaminated waste becomes non-infectious and safe, then it goes through a huge shredder machine which is designed specifically for processing
all sharp containers, glasses, gowns and all other medical waste parts into small pieces, which can be later disposed as general waste in the landfill area.
Capacity of the autoclave machine in King Hamad University Hospital is 300 kg, of medical waste can be treated per cycle.
Finally the advantages of this new technology of autoclave system are environmental friendly, non-bio hazardous and germs free.

Source: KHUH

 

No more medical waste on Sharjah streets

By Mahmood Saberi, Senior reporter

Sharjah facility treats up to 400kg of medical waste every hour.

Sharjah: Until recently, clinics in Sharjah would dispose of medical waste in regular trash bins and shocked residents complained to Gulf News about finding bloodied bandages on secondary streets.
Three years ago, a company called Wekaya was established. It was a collaboration between the Sharjah Environmental Company Bee’ah and the non-profit organisation Green Planet.
The Sharjah Municipality had outsourced the specialised services of disposing of medical waste to the company that spearheaded the training for medical staff and for those handling such hazardous waste.
Medical waste in Sharjah is now transported to a plant in the Al Saja’a Industrial Area, where it is sterilised using an autoclave device that uses high-pressure steam.
This facility caters to 422 hospitals and medical clinics across the emirate, including 25 veterinary centres, 257 medical centres and complexes and 17 private hospitals in Sharjah.

Huge challenge
Getting rid of this waste is an enormous job. To put it into perspective, just one hospital, Zulekha in Sharjah, generates 8,000kg of medical waste a month. That works out to 150kg to 400kg daily, says Dr Shoaib Ehsan Hasani, specialist microbiologist and infection control coordinator at the hospital.
The doctor said the hospital has a special temperature-controlled room to store the waste until it is picked up, to reduce the chances of the pathogens multiplying.

Periodic vaccinations
Hospitals are taking extreme care to control any spread of infections and train its staff in handling medical waste, he said.
The staff that handles the medical waste undergoes periodical vaccinations that are mandatory, he said.
Wekaya provides litter bins to large hospitals for safe storage till the waste is picked up and transported to the Al Saja’a facility.
Each bin is then tagged, scanned and sealed. The facility is capable of treating 350kg to 400kg per hour, depending on density.
The 120-litre containers provided by the company are then replaced with disinfected ones.
Wekaya notes that medical waste passes through several stages before treatment and disposal.
On arrival of the vehicle containing the medical waste, the waste is weighed and the data is electronically recorded in the corporate database.
It is put into a main container which enters the processing device.
The treatment cycle lasts 45 minutes, as Wekaya uses the latest systems and technologies that are environment-friendly, in order for such waste to be ready after treatment for final safe disposal, according to the company.

Source: GULF NEWS

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