Medical waste focus

by Kimberley Cummins

The disposal of medical waste is presently not a major problem for officials but the Ministry of Health is taking no chances.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY this morning after a health fair held at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, said that his ministry will step up their game to prevent any problems.

He said that though their main issue was the separation of waste at the source, as with all other matters related to public health they could not afford to be complacent.

“The truth of the matter is, you can’t dispose medical waste in a willy-nilly fashion. Disposing of solid waste in the wrong way can put the entire population at risk. I’ve seen some comments recently in the public domain with photographs of needles all over the place and people ask ‘what is the minister doing about it?’ People have to take responsibility for the things that are in their domain.

“We are not going to have environmental officers stationed at every highway in Barbados watching people throw things through a window but it speaks perhaps to the need for us to strengthen and better police the collection and transportation of medical waste in Barbados. One of the issues that we look at is better recording of the producers of solid waste. Perhaps having appropriate vehicles to transport solid waste and recording at the receiving end as well,” he said.

The Minister added that the Environmental Health Department within the Ministry of Health, recently came up with some additional proposals to strengthen the management of medical waste disposal in Barbados. As well as improved policing, he said further education at the source of producing the solid waste would be one of the main areas to improve.

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