By Nozipho Sibiya | 2018-11-14
A consignment of biohazardous material has been piling up at Mbabane Government Hospital since the incinerator became dysfunctional three months ago.
This has not only inconvenienced the hospital, but has become a health hazard.
According to a source the uncollected package consisting of any hospital waste one could think of is now posing as a risk not only to workers but also to the public. It also emits a very bad smell.
During a visit by this publication to the hospital yesterday, several red containers and bags were found in one location known as a dumpsite.
Employees of the hospital said the bags and containers contained body parts, syringes and other hazardous materials.
It is said hospital staff was unable to work their regular hours because of the hazardous environment and the unbearable stench.
“They have been leaving work earlier than usual,” a source claimed.
The source added that only material such as cotton, disposable diapers and cloth, which are placed in bags, were being disposed of, but the hazardous materials, which are sealed in containers, were not being removed.
“As a consequence, orderlies from the hospital who work at the dumpsite have been left to pick up the stinking waste to the trucks that transport them to the other dumpsites at Pigg’s Peak and Hlathikhulu Government Hospital. The hospital is contaminated; this uncollected waste is a total health hazard.”
The source stated that the hospital is supposed to be promoting health, but it was doing the direct opposite.
“Even though the incinerator is down they should have a biohazard contingency plan in place,” he said.
He said they had promised to move out the stuff, but nothing had been done.
“Workers are leaving early because of the stench, it’s unbearable. One of the main concerns is that people who are moving the stuff go back into the wards with the same shoes and clothes.”
As a result employees (orderlies) have complained to the hospital administrator and nothing has been done yet.
Director at the Ministry of Health, Dr Vusi Magagula confirmed that the incinerator was non-functional and the ministry was doing all it could to make sure that everything goes back to normal.
“The ministry has contacted the city council to put in place a contingency plan that will rescue the current situation at the hospital,” he explained further adding they were also doing other means to make sure that the incinerator is functional.
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