A modern medical waste and treatment plant has been commissioned in Adegya in the Ashanti Region.
The Kumasi Medical Waste Treatment facility is part of a larger initiative by the Jospong Group of companies, in collaboration with the government.
It is the first of 14 centralised medical waste treatment facilitiesto to be established across the country.
A deputy Minister of Health, Mahama Asei Seini, who commissioned the plant, said the facility signified the commitment of the country to safeguard public health, preserving the environment for sustainable development.
He stressed that medical waste comprised potentially infectious and hazardous materials which posed 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 health workers and minimise the impact on the environment, Mr Seini emphasised.
He noted that the facility would serve all heathcare facilities within the region and neighbouring towns and 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 200 direct and indirect jobs.
He gave an assurance that all waste generated from the health facilities would be channelled 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 had always been a challenge.
He added that in the last two years, Ghana had dispensed over 22 million vaccines, excluding those for children, and as such the management of the waste was a challenge to the service.
“We are currently carrying out 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 environmental 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 did not only protect the environment but the health workers who handled the waste.
some officials observing the treatment process after the innauguration
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 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for creating the enabling environment for the private sector to work.
Hiahene, Professor Oheneba Boakye Adjei, who represented Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, commended the partnership between the Government of Ghana, the Ecosteryl of Belgium and the Jospong Group for bringing the project to life.
Ghana’s Ambassador to Belgium, Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, stated that the facility was a significant milestone and demonstrated Ghana’s commitment to meeting goals three and 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals
“It also aligns with the environmental sanitation and plastic policy that will significantly reduce plastic waste,” she noted.
The primary purpose of the Kumasi Medical Waste Treatment facility is to collect and treat hazardous health waste components, including used syringes, blood-stained materials, pathological waste, COVID-19 waste and waste from vaccination exercises.
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 treats the waste but also recycles it, adding value and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfill sites.
The non-incineration technique employed by the equipment ensures there are no atmospheric pollutants released, thus promoting environmental health and safety.
In addition to the treatment equipment, the facility features a cold room for waste storage and specialised waste trucks for transporting medical waste from various healthcare facilities to the treatment site.