South Africa: Department Condemns Inappropriate Disposal of Medical Waste

The Department of Health has condemned the dumping of medical waste next to the road between Mdantsane and East London in the Eastern Cape.

"The inappropriate dumping of medical waste is dangerous for public health. It can lead to infectious diseases," the department said in a statement.

The department said the medical waste has been identified as the property of the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).

"What is worrisome is that this was not just medical waste but specimens. These specimens have identity numbers and contact details of individuals.

"In our view, this is an intentional criminal act which must be condemned strongly. It is a violation of people's rights and dignity when the test kits containing their personal information are found next to the road," the department said.

The department said it is working with the Eastern Cape Departments of Health and NHLS to establish how the medical waste ended up where it was found.

"The courier company that was contracted must be traced and provide answers as to what happened to get to the bottom of this situation. We are hopeful that an investigation will be done and those found responsible for this be held accountable," the department said.

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