Ministry rolls out a safe method of healthcare waste disposal

The Ministry of Health has rolled out a pilot project for the use of medical waste microwave equipment, a critical milestone in the health sector as it marks the end of open burning and crude disposal of healthcare waste disposal in health facilities, a move that will go a long way towards reducing environmental and public health risks.

Speaking when she commissioned the equipment at the Nakuru Level Six Hospital, Health Principal Secretary Susan N. Mochache noted that the equipment is necessary now since the COVID-19 pandemic has increased generation of waste due to the use of disposable masks and gloves in large quantities. “ Poor healthcare waste management exposes the population to infectious material which is associated with new HIV infections, spread of hepatitis B and C, and cancers. The PS noted.

The Medical Waste Microwave Equipment project is an initiative of the Ministry of Health supported by the Belgium Government. Nine other facilities are set to benefit from the equipment in phase (1) of the project. They include, Machakos, Mombasa, Embu, Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nyeri and the Kenyatta National Hospital are also set to benefit from the equipment.
The PS appreciated PATH and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for supporting the Ministry with environment friendly non-burn technologies, autoclaves and shredders installed in six Level 4 hospitals in the country.

She urged county governments to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the equipment called for joint stakeholder efforts in waste management to ensure a safe environment.