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UNDP Donates to Five Health Facilities

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated non-incineration waste management technologies (autoclaves) and waste bins to some selected health facilities in the country.

The beneficiary hospitals are Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Koforidua Regional Hospital, Tegbi Health Centre, Keta, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Winneba Trauma Hospital.

Explaining the rationale behind the intervention at a ceremony held in Cape Coast on Wednesday, Mr. Richard Amfo-Otu, National Technical Advisor of the UNDP Medical Waste project, said “The current practice at the health facilities is the use of incinerators which burn waste at low temperature. The burning of the waste emits Unintended Persistent Organic Pollutants (UPOPs), which contain cancer causing substances and other toxic pollutants that can give various diseases including cancer, tuberculosis, cholera, when people get exposed to these infectious wastes. So, the provision of the non-incineration technologies is expected to improve the general waste management in the health sector.”

More than 1,770,220 people living in Cape Coast, Koforidua, Kumasi, Keta and Winneba, as well as many other indirect beneficiaries living around these communities and the entire country, are expected to directly benefit from the support.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Dr. Daniel Asare, on his part, indicated that the intervention will help the beneficiary hospitals to stop burning infectious waste, which is detrimental to health. He said “formerly we used to burn our waste using incinerators. but with the autoclaves, our waste will be treated in an environmentally friendly manner and this will prevent the release of toxic substances into the environment”.

The Medical Waste project is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Care Without Harm, an NGO.

The five-year project (2016-2020) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aims at introducing best environmental practices and best available technologies in four Sub-Saharan African countries, namely Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia, to help reduce harmful releases from the health sector.

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum

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