Surge in medical waste a public well being downside in Indonesia as COVID-19 rages
By regulation, medical waste is assessed as hazardous and poisonous waste and is meant to be incinerated to cease the unfold of ailments and stop contamination.
However weak supervision and enforcement of the principles in addition to the shortage of licensed incinerators throughout the nation meant that some medical waste often ended up in landfills that are solely meant for family waste.
The scenario has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the Indonesian Hospital Affiliation, hospitals throughout the nation produced round 290 tonnes of medical waste per day previous to the pandemic. This determine has since ballooned to 493 tonnes per day.
As COVID-19 rages, infectious waste shouldn’t be solely produced by hospitals and clinics. They’re additionally produced by isolation services which have remained largely unsupervised, in addition to households that hardly ever separate infectious waste from bizarre garbage.
The precise quantity of medical waste produced by isolation services and households is unknown. Nevertheless, the Ministry for Forestry and the Setting estimated that every COVID-19 affected person can produce as much as 1.7kg of infectious waste per day.
Round four million folks in Indonesia have contracted COVID-19 because the pandemic started.
There are 3,000 hospitals, 8,000 neighborhood well being centres and 9,000 personal clinics throughout Indonesia. Out of this, solely 120 hospitals function their very own incinerators to eliminate their medical waste.
“It’s tough for a hospital to function their very own incinerator. Shopping for one is straightforward. The arduous half is acquiring a license from the Ministry for Forestry and the Setting to function one. There are such a lot of necessities which must be met,” Dr Lia Partakusuma, secretary common of the Indonesian Hospital Affiliation, instructed CNA.