Healthcare facilities must have Waste Management Plans – EPA
Mr. Herbert Eden Kpodo, Principal Programme Officer, Greater Accra East Tema Region Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says every healthcare facility in the country must have a Waste Management Plan (WMP) to guide its operations.
He said the plan should be a mechanism for minimization, segregation, colour coding, labelling, storage, transportation, and treatment of healthcare waste.
Mr. Kpodo said this during an EPA mentorship programme for healthcare workers in the Tema Region and said the WMP was a living document that needed to be effective and fit purposefully into the operations of the facility.
He said the plan needed to be modified per the activities of the health facility, stressing that the agency was able to know the ways and means of the facility and that failure to adhere to these rules could lead to the facility being sanctioned.
He mentioned that healthcare waste was one of the most hazardous wastes globally whose management needed to be prioritized because of its devastating effects on human health and the environment.
The EPA Principal Programme Officer, Greater Accra East Tema Region, explained that when hospital waste was well managed, it increased the safety of employees and patients, hence the need to critically adhere to measures.
He went on to say that it was critical that hospitals and other healthcare environments maintained excellent standards of cleanliness to reduce the spread of dangerous infections and diseases.
Mr. Kpodo added that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2017 that a total of about 85 percent of waste generated by healthcare activities was general and the remaining 15 percent was healthcare waste, and stated that the Agency would work relentlessly to promote the welfare of Ghanaians.