Gambia: Health Ministry to Build D37 Million Clinical Waste Treatment Plant

20 April 2021

Days of worrying about clinical waste management from health facilities may soon be over as health minister Amadou Lamin Samateh lays the foundation stone for a health clinical waste treatment plant worth D37 million. The facility would be capable of treating 300kg of clinical waste per hour with 99.9% disinfection efficiency.

The Health Ministry with the support from the World Bank will install the clinical waste treatment equipment at Farato.

The equipment according to the officials; is tested to treat waste generated in health care facilities by microwave disinfection.

It is electricity operated and reduces the waste to at least 20 per cent.

It is reported to be environment friendly as there are no harmful emissions as the air treatment vessel disinfects the airflow and prevents similar particles from flying out.

Health care waste management according to health experts is the total stream of waste from health facilities including shafs, non-shafs, blood, body parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices in some cases radioactive materials.

Apparently if poorly managed, it could have health consequences the Health Minister Lamin Samateh noted.

"Poor management of the health care waste exposes health care workers, the waste handlers and the communities to infection, toxic effects and can result in disease or injuries," he said. "The management of health care waste has become an urgent need to safeguard the public health from adverse effects caused due to improper management of the health care waste."

The minister disclosed that the Gambia lacks enough equipment and knowledge in health waste disposal while emphasising its importance.

"In the Gambia medical waste disposal has become even more difficult due to inadequate and insufficient infrastructural facilities for the management and treatment of clinical waste.

"The majority of the health care institutions do not practice safe waste handling, storage and disposal methods because of inappropriate infrastructure and even lack of the appropriate knowledge."

He expressed delight at the instalment of the machine hoping it will ease the trouble of managing clinical waste.

The World Bank Country Representative Feyi Boroffice said the World Bank is helping the facility with the installation of the important clinical treatment through a grant.

She reaffirmed her institution's support to the Gambia reminding the audience of World Bank's support of the 10.9 million dollar Covid-19 response project which includes the clinical treatment plant.

She also highlighted other projects supported by the World Bank including the cash transfer project through the Nafa quick of which many Gambians have benefited.

World Bank Health Task Team Leader Dr. Samuel L. Mills was highly praised for the dedication and determination to ensure the Gambia got the project.

The Consultant Dr Cole said Krubally Construction was awarded the contract after a thorough review.

Meanwhile the proprietor of Krubally Construction Mr. Krubally promised standard delivery.

The Chief of Kombo South Lamin Darboe who spoke on behalf of the West Coast Region Governor expressed his delight over the project while urging for more of its kind for the people of the region and his district in particular.

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