Strengthening Local Medical Waste Management Efforts

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THE first of 4 medical waste incinerators funded by the World Bank’s Covid 19 Emergency Response Project through the Project Management Unit (PMU) within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is near completion.

The incinerators are part of the activities funded under the project which aims to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Covid-19, and to improve and to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Solomon Islands.

This first incinerator, located at the back of Good Samaritan Hospital, in Tetere, Central Guadalcanal is worth around SBD1.3 million and should be completed and ready for handover next week.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Medical Services Pauline McNeil emphasized the importance of incinerators at local healthcare facilities.

“Incinerators are an integral part of any healthcare facility because the majority of medical waste generated is hazardous waste that can transmit infections if not properly contained and destroyed. Doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, and laboratory technicians interacting with contaminated matter are especially vulnerable. The incinerator will ensure that medical waste generated at the Good Samaritan Hospital is properly disposed of”.

“The project will also support the installation of incinerators at Tulagi Hospital, Kilufii Hospital and at Noro, in the Western Province. We are very pleased with the project’s progress at Good Samaritan Hospital and we look forward to the start of construction of the second incinerator at Tulagi Hospital this month and then onto the remaining 2 projects at Noro and Kilufii in March and April respectively,” said PS McNeil.

The incinerator and the generator shed at the Good Samaritan Hospital

Meanwhile R.S.F Construction Managing Director George Noda confirms the first incinerator project should be completed by this weekend.

“Construction of the shed and installation of the incinerator were done in December 2023 and January 2024, we are now doing finishing work including finalising road works, mechanical and electrical work. The project should have been completed but it was delayed by bad weather experienced by the whole country over the last couple of months.

“We look forward to mobilizing our team and equipment over the coming weeks to Tulagi in the Central Province, to begin construction and installation of the second incinerator. I would like to express my gratitude to the World Bank and the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for having the confidence and trust in R.S.F to construct and install these 2 incinerators at the Good Samaritan Hospital and Tulagi Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Project Management Unit clarified that the incinerators come as a complete package and conforms to the country’s Infectious Prevent Control (IPC) standards. Under the package, training will be provided to relevant MHMS bio-medical engineers and infrastructure officers who will provide ongoing support to the daily operations of the incinerators.

All 4 incinerators are expected to be completed and installed by June this year.

SOURCE: Ministry of Health & Medical Services

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