By Simbarashe Sithole
THE Environment Management Agency (EMA) has fined Mvurwi District Hospital for dumping hazardous biological waste in a pit instead of using an incinerator, NewsDay Weekender has learnt.
Mashonaland Central EMA provincial managing director Robert Rwafa confirmed the incident.
“We have fined Mvurwi Hospital ZWR$400 for disposal of medical waste in a pit under Statutory Instrument 10 of 2007 since it is a serious violation of the human rights to a clean and healthy environment,” he said.
When NewsDay Weekender arrived at the hospital this week, children in the yard were picking some of the dumped waste, which included blood tubes, used surgical gloves, intravenous fluid water packs and injection powered bottles, all of which pose a health hazard.
Concession district medical officer Rachel Socheri referred all questions to the Department of Public Works.
“I have been advised by my local authority to refer you to the Public Works for a comment on Mvurwi Hospital,” she said.
Public Works district officer Godfrey Jowana expressed ignorance over the issue.
“Where did you get my number and, above all, why do you want me to comment on that issue?” he fumed.
Patients at the hospital castigated the institution for failing to dispose of biological waste properly.
“We are worried with this behaviour. As you have seen, the hospital is proving to be a breeding place for diseases, instead of being a health facility. How can they overcome diseases when they dump used waste in a pit? This is disgusting. We thank EMA for coming to our rescue,” fumed a patient, Sekai Mwenamberi.
Another patient said the hospital wards were dirty and general hand personnel were refusing to take orders from nurses.
“The wards are dirty and people responsible for cleaning refuse to take orders from nurses in our presence and we just stay in a dirty environment, which is not healthy for us as well,” Thomas Dzobo said.