Okahandja clinic dumps medical waste

16 April 2018 | Health

Residents of Okahandja are facing a health risk following continued dumping of medical waste behind the Okahandja clinic.

Namibian Sun found a mountain of garbage bags filled with medical waste, some in regular plastic bags, behind the Okahandja clinic exposing residents to major risks, some of whom live barely 50 metres away.

The waste was first spotted last Thursday and pile appears to continue to grow. Some of the bags are torn exposing medical sharps in an area where children and adults live and even hang their laundry.

The permanent secretary of the health ministry Petronella Masabane referred questions to the Otjozondjupa health director Frieda Stefanus. Stefanus, however, said she is not aware of the situation. Stefanus also refused to comment on whether it is acceptable for the waste to be dumped behind the clinic, fully exposed.

She, however, noted that the medical waste must be burned every day. “There could be a number of challenges such as that the incinerator is out of order, amongst others. It depends. Sometimes other institutions bring their waste to be burned. [but] I have not been informed of the situation. I cannot answer you now, please call me on Monday,” she said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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