The inner chamber of the incinerator
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital sewage treatment plant meant to burn clinical waste generated by the hospital is not functioning, making hospital authorities fear the improvised way of burning human waste can cause pandemic.
The incinerator which was installed together with the hospital to burn clinical waste such as surgical needles, gauze, gloves, amputated human parts, placenta, among others, into ashes at high speed temperature broke down for more than a year ago.
As a result, hospital authorities are burning human waste in an open improvised dug hole with car tyres and petrol.
This, the head of department, Kyei Baffour, is afraid can cause environmental hazard to the hospital and communities around it, calling for urgent replacement or repairs.
This became to light last Friday when the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremey, accompanied by the Municipal Chief Executive of Sunyani, Ama Kumi Richardson, paid a working visit to the facility to acquaint themselves with the working conditions of the health facility.
The regional minister who was taken round some departments, including the waste management system, central sterilisation service department (CSSD), paediatric ward, neonatal intensive care unit, maternity ward, among others, expressed worry, reiterating that government would revamp the hospital to make it more efficient in order to tackle the health needs of the people in the region
At the waste treatment plant, Mr Kyei Baffour disclosed that the incinerator has two chambers which can burn clinical waste at high temperature of 1,000 and 800 degrees, enabling it to totally destroy needles and human parts into ashes are longer functioning.
According to him, both the inner chamber and outer chamber are spoilt. He mentioned that the whole treatment plant is obsolete and cannot function any longer even if repaired.
Mr Kyei Baffour explained that the dug-out manhole where they use car tyres and petrol to burn clinical waste cannot be re-checked after burning to find out if all materials are totally destroyed, thus, making it dangerous to continue disposing of clinical waste that way. The possibility of rainwater getting into the hole and pollute underground water is high. This is because the hole is not covered. He pleaded with the minister to provide a new incinerator to enable the hospital dispose of waste properly.
Mr Asomah-Cheremey underscored that his outfit was negotiating with some investors in France and the United State of America to help acquire new equipment to allow the facility to function effectively.
FROM Daniel Y Dayee, Sunyani