Maiden Medical Waste Treatment Plant Commissioned in Kumasi
At the event, the Deputy Minister of Health, Mahama AseiSeini, who opened the edifice, noted, that the commissioning of the facility signifies the commitment of Ghana to safeguard public health, preserving the environment and sustainable development.
According to him, medical waste contains potentially infectious and hazardous materials which pose a great threat to human health and the ecosystem if not managed properly.
“It is critical that we adopt responsible and efficient measures to prevent the spread of diseases, protect our healthcare workers and minimize the impact on the environment,” he emphasized.
He mentioned that the plant will serve all health care facilities within the region and neighboring towns.
The deputy minister added that it will also serve as a learning facility for health students in the region.
The facility, which has the capacity to treat 10,000kg (10 tonnes) of waste a day, will provide over 200 direct and indirect jobs.
He assured that all waste generated from the health facilities will be channeled to ensure its sustainability.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, noted that management of medical waste in the country has always been a challenge.
According to him, in the last two years, Ghana has dispensed over 22 million vaccines, excluding vaccines for children and the management of the waste was a challenge to the Service.
“We are currently open burning of waste, incinerators with its accompanying high electricity consumption cost and so there’s a need to transform to a safer, efficient and environmentally friendly system and what we have here provides this excellent result. We are happy to be part of this transformation,” he remarked.
He stressed that, the facility does not only protect environment but also the health workers who handle the waste.
The Executive Director, Processing Cluster E&S Group, Haida Said, noted that the pandemic brought into focus the need to be cautious in handling medical waste to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the country.
He expressed gratitude to the president Nana Addo for creating the enabling environment for the private sector to work.
Hiahene Professor Oheneba Boakye Adjei, who represented Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, commended the partnership between the Government of Ghana, the Ecosteryl of Belgium and the Jospong Group for bringing the project to life.
The Ghana ambassador to Belgium, Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, remarked that the facility is a significant milestone and demonstrates Ghana’s commitment to meeting Goals 3 and 12 of the SDGs
“It also aligns with environmental sanitation and plastic policy that will significantly reduce plastic waste,” she noted.
The Kumasi Medical Waste Treatment facility is part of a larger initiative undertaken by the Jospong Group of Companies, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.
This collaboration aims to establish 14 centralized medical waste treatment facilities throughout the country.
The primary purpose of the facility is to collect and treat hazardous healthcare waste components, including used syringes, blood-stained materials, pathological waste, COVID-19 waste, and waste from vaccination exercises.
It serves all healthcare facilities within the region and its surrounding areas. The facility is equipped with two state-of-the-art Microwave Treatment Equipment that have a daily capacity to handle an average of 10,000kg (10 tonnes) of hazardous waste. This equipment not only effectively treat the waste but also recycle it, adding value and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfills.
The non-incineration technique employed by the equipment ensures there are no atmospheric pollutants released, promoting environmental health and safety.
In addition to the treatment equipment, the facility features a cold-room for waste storage and specialized waste trucks for transporting medical waste from various healthcare facilities to the treatment site.
The establishment of the Kumasi medical waste treatment facility brings significant socio-economic benefits to the community and the country as a whole. It is expected to generate over 200 direct and indirect employment opportunities for the community members.
The facility also aligns with Ghana’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically contributing to the goals related to environmental sustainability, health and decent work and economic growth.
Overall, the facility plays a crucial role in addressing the proper management and treatment of hazardous healthcare waste in Ghana.
By utilizing advanced technology, recycling capabilities, and adhering to environmental and safety standards, the facility contributes to the achievement of national and international sustainability goals.