Medical waste disposal center still inactive

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The absence of proclamation is delaying the disposal of medical waste even though one of the eight medical waste incineration centers in Adama inaugurated.
Ethiopia finished building the Adama medical waste disposal facility for medicine and clinical waste some months ago; however, it is unable to begin operating as the Federal Drug and Medicine Administration (FDMA) has not mandated the disposal of medicine and medical equipment by proclamation.
“FDA is not bestowed any mandate given by proclamation to dispose medical waste,” said Adina Berie Communication Director of the Administration.
These waste disposal centers are financed by Global Fund and managed by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and delivered to the Pharmaceutical Fund & Supply Agency upon completion.
The recently inaugurated Adama incineration center will have a capacity of burning 1,000kg of medical waste an hour, while the others will burn 500kg of waste an hour.
Medical waste disposal facilities are also installed in, Mekele, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Jimma, Neqemte, Hawasa and the city of Dire Dawa with a total investment of 440 million Br. They have a capacity of working for 20 hours to burn pharmaceutical waste, drugs, and soon clinical waste.
Studies made by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in 2018 suggest that waste generated at healthcare facilities needs an adequate and appropriate management mechanism before disposal, including all activities involved in the waste generation, segregation, transportation, storage, treatment and final disposal.
Nationally, 32.6pc of the health facilities store medical waste in a covered container, and about 27pc of health facilities save it in another protected environment. The remaining 40pc of health facilities store their medical waste in unprotected areas, the study explains.
The study also found that 94pc of the health facilities burn medical waste, but only 42 percent use a standard incinerator. The remaining facilities practice open-air incineration.
“The administration is working with the concerned bodies to formulate the necessary legal procedures to make the center active, she said.