Liberia: Medical Waste Treatment Plant in Sight

What could be the first modern waste Management Treatment Plant is in sight in the country, a release from the Ministry of Health said. This is the result of a collaborative effort between the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), and the German Federal Enterprise, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

To meet the target, NPHIL and GIZ have begun the construction of a Centralized Health Care Waste Management Treatment Plant on the Disco Hill in Margibi County.

When completed, according to a statement by NPHIL Acting Director-General Dr. Mosoka Fallah, the treatment plant will include an ash pit, renovation of the existing damaged incinerator; storage facility for waste before incineration, and hygiene center for disinfection and hand washing.

Dr. Fallah described as essential that component of the country's healthcare system to help minimize the spread of disease, which involves the management and proper disposal of medical waste.

This latest project is part of several projects initiated by Dr. Fallah since he was appointed as acting director general.

Recently, a central Environmental Water Laboratory was dedicated to do water and food quality, as well as chemical testing, the statement said.

NPHIL's responsibly is to prevent and control public health threats by promoting healthy outcomes and serving as a source of knowledge and expertise.

Dr. Fallah commended the GIZ, Germany's leading provider of international cooperation services, for its continual support to the NPHIL in particular and the healthcare delivery sector as a whole.

The NPHIL's statement also provided update on Lassa fever outbreak in the country. It said one new confirmed case was reported from Grand Bassa on October 28, 2019, and since then, the case is undergoing Ribavirin Treatment (RT).

The statement also said that the Bong County response was a result of a successful collaboration among MoH, NPHIL, WHO, US-CDC, and other partners in providing technical, financial, and logistical support to the County Response Teams.

From January 1 to October 22, 2019, a total of 120 suspected cases, including 23 deaths, have been reported. Of these, 33 cases have been confirmed by RT-PCR (Nimba-8, Bong-13, Grand Bassa-9, Grand Kru -1, Margibi-1 and Montserrado-1).

The case fatality rate among confirmed cases is 33.3% (11/33). Males are mostly affected by the disease (52%) with confirmed cases, as compared to females.

The statement also said that although Lassa fever is not new to Liberia, "it is a deadly viral disease that we are closely monitoring through NPHIL Surveillance System, which requires urgent attention."

The disease is spread by rodents or rats and through close contact with affected persons.

Therefore, MoH and NPHIL are advising people to apply public health measures by keeping our environment clean; cover dishes to prevent rats urinating or excreting on them; by covering food in tightly-closed containers to prevent rats from playing in the food or drinking water. Do not eat rats because one can get the sickness by coming in contact with their blood, urine or feces. Do not dry food in open places where rats can reach; avoid body contact with affected persons and endemic zone; and or visit a health facility.

If a malaria case is treated for 48 hours with no treatment, think Lassa that "we continue to improve our rapid response teams at the county, district and community levels, through the County Emergency Operations Centers, and to provide technical, financial and logistical support to the outbreaks," NPHIL release said.

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