Namibia: Authorities Probe Dumping of Medical Waste

(File photo).

Highly infectious medical waste comprising of needles and syringes, circumcision blades, dirty linens and contraceptive implants were discovered about 50 metres from houses in Windhoek's Goreangab area.

The ministry of health has started an investigation to establish the point of origin, according to chief environmental health practitioner Elvis Handura.

The dumping of medical waste poses serious health risks. "Whenever there is blood or human body fluid, then it is infectious because we don't know what the other persons possess in their immune system," explained Handura.

He said the City of Windhoek team that specialises in healthcare waste would put in place modalities on how to contain the area.

He explained the normal procedure to handle the waste would include first separating and segregating the waste within the set up of the facility, using various colour-coded bags.

The red bag, he explained, is usually used for highly infectious waste. After the segregation, the waste goes to the storeroom or cage where it is kept before taken to an incinerator.

City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said for this kind of illegal dumping, a culprit is fined N$1 000.

"We will also do an investigation to see what evidence we can find that can lead us to the culprit," said Amutenya, while urging to stop dumping highly infectious waste. "There are children in the area and people whom may come in contact with these waste."

sikela@nepc.com.na

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