The long-awaited Hydroclave system at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) which is said to bring international-quality processing of biomedical waste at the GPHC and other health facilities around Georgetown, has finally been fully installed.
Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, told Kaieteur News that biomedical wastes from private hospitals and private doctors will also be processed as well as wastes from Diamond Diagnostic Centre, the Leonora and West Demerara Regional Hospitals and several large health centres in Regions Three and Four.
This is the first such facility in the Caribbean. A ‘special sanitation truck’ has already been procured to pick up wastes from various sites and bring it to the processing centre at the GPHC.
The Hydroclave system had been tested and commissioned by the manufacturer.
Unfortunately, the GPHC is unable to begin full operations because of the need for an
“automated bucket” which is intended to take waste from the truck and from the Waste Containers into the system.
Currently, the automated bucket is being procured at a cost of almost $8M and should be in place by the end of August.
Kaieteur News understands that the “automated bucket” allows for the picking up of the waste from the special waste containers and from the sanitation truck for transportation to the compacters. It then returns to the containers then to the “wash” area for sterilization, before returning to the truck or to the designated area for waste containers.
Minister Ramsammy also expressed his disappointment at the fact that the GPHC could not benefit from the full operational works as yet.
“I am disappointed at the sloth in the full implementation of this system. This represents a paradigm shift in the way we process biomedical waste and brings, at least in the Georgetown area, our system up to developed countries standard.
“This has been a committed effort by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Bank and with Global Fund, and I would like to see the full implementation before the end of August,” stated Minister Ramsammy.
He explained that this is only “part of the effort” the health sector has made to ensure safe handling of hospital and health facilities’ biomedical waste matters.
Kaieteur News was further told that the Automated Incinerator at the New Amsterdam Hospital has been processing biomedical wastes from the New Amsterdam Hospital and from other hospitals and health facilities in Region Six.
“While we have indigenously built incinerators without automated controls at some of the health facilities in Region Five, there is need for more comprehensive management of biomedical wastes in Region Five.
“The biomedical wastes from Region Five will be sent to both the New Amsterdam Incinerator and to the GPHC Hydroclave. We are instituting the transportation arrangements and these would become effective before the end of 2011” said Dr. Ramsammy.
The waste from Region Three is to be managed by incinerators which were locally made following models designed, with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/ World Health Organization (WHO), however; the wastes from the Leonora and West Demerara Regional Hospitals will be picked up by the GPHC for processing at the GPHC’s Hydroclave.
Plans are currently underway by the Ministry of Health to have an incinerator constructed at the Mabaruma Hospital shortly.
Minister Ramsammy stated that a comprehensive plan for the management of biomedical wastes is already in place and will be implemented so that Guyana would have a country-wide system by the end of 2012.
“Even with the system being in place in a limited way, Guyana is playing a leading role in the safe handling of biomedical waste,” added Minister Ramsammy. (Kristen Macklingam)
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