15 Sep 2015 07:20am
WINDHOEK, 15 SEP (NAMPA) A gap in the management of health care waste prompted the City of Windhoek (CoW) to invest in the construction of a healthcare risk waste management facility to the tune of N.dollars 50 million.
Officiating at a ground-breaking ceremony for the facility on Monday, Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua said this development is yet another milestone in the city's quest for investment to adequately manage the waste generated by health facilities.
Health care waste includes health care risk waste and all wastes generated at health care facilities, laboratories, pharmacies, veterinaries and related service providers. Health care risk waste is dangerous because it can contain infectious agents, sharp objects, hazardous chemicals or pharmaceuticals that could cause disease or injury.
Kazapua said research during the formulation of the City's solid waste management policy revealed a gap in the treatment and management of such waste.
To this end, the need for the establishment of a facility to treat medical waste was identified, when it became apparent that the current facilities no longer have the capacity to sufficiently dispose and process the increased amount of health and medical waste in the city, he said.
The mayor confirmed that all regulatory requirements have been complied with in terms of obtaining the required clearance certificates from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
Meanwhile, Nampa understands that negations are underway between the CoW and the Ministry of Health and Social Services for them to start using the new facility once it is completed in mid-2016. The current facilities of the health ministry are out dated and contribute to air pollution when in use.
The Healthcare Risk Waste Management Facility will be constructed at the offices of the Solid Waste Management Division in Newcastle Street, Windhoek.
The plant will be of the highest technical standards as advanced facilities will be installed and used to limit air pollution.
The medical waste will be transported under strict supervision from the various medical facilities. The various medical institutions will pay a minimal fee for the usage of the facility so as to bring down costs to the City of Windhoek.