Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has commissioned an ultra-modern medical microwave shredder at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral and Teaching Hospital (JOORTH) to boost medical waste management in the county.
The new Sh.131 Million facility uses modern technology in handling infectious medical waste without causing environmental pollution.
Speaking during the launch on Wednesday, Nyong’o hailed the scheme saying that waste can be carcinogenic when not properly managed.
He directed the county department of Health to draft regulations that will end the use of incinerators from health facilities in the County.
Nyong’o further cautioned all hospitals and medical workers to stop disposing of medical waste in the dumpsites as the exercise abuses the environment.
The county boss reiterated that the development has come at a time the county was enhancing its commitment to handling the disposal of medical waste in the health institutions.
“This project is a part of the ongoing larger modernization of JOORTH which includes the building of the Comprehensive Cancer Care Center is a major cancer management project with two bunkers; the Neurosurgery Research Centre; the Sickle Cell Anaemia Research Centre and the Doctors Suites. All are aimed at positioning the facility as a premier teaching and referral center of choice in the region and beyond,” said Nyong’o.
Dr. Francis Kuria, the Head of Directorate for Public Health at the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the project would feature in eight counties across the country through a partnership between MOH and Belgium government.
The other counties to benefit from the programme are Machakos, Embu, Meru, Kisii and Nakuru. Mombasa and Kakamega will also have the facility.
The facility at JOORTH has a capacity to crash 250kg of infectious medical waste per hour or four tonnes per day and will professionally manage waste from all hospitals in the county.
The breakthrough will see the medical fraternity move from the hazardous burn technology incinerator and use the modern technology in the disposal and management of waste.
Dr. Kuria said that microwave technology reduces the effects of wastes and the end products are useful.
“The remnants can be used to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other counties are even producing fertilizers from the same.”
Nyong’o urged the medical experts to make good use of the equipment and ensure it is maintained properly in order to benefit the sector for a longer time.
He warned residents to be wary of statistics that show Kisumu is leading in Corona infection and to observe all the corona protocols that have been issued by the ministry of health such as steering away from gatherings and take extreme precaution especially in the wake of the Indian strain of the virus already established in Kisumu.
He urged the residents that even if they want to enjoy themselves then they should do that cautiously and ensure they don’t do anything to jeopardize their safety and lives.
By Milton Onyango and Lorine Awino