Mr, Solomon Chollom, Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria, Jos chapter (AMLSN), has warned against improper disposal of medical waste.
He said that communities and the environment could be compromised through improper disposal of medical waste.
He said that significant amount of medical waste are generated through materials used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
He added that such waste poses significant amount of risk to human health and the environment if not disposed appropriately.
Chollom said: “when working in the Laboratory you are working with infectious micro-organisms,
“In the process, you generate a lot of waste, some of which are part of the organisms.
“So it is only right that after the entire process, the sample management must be properly disposed.
“Some waste are meant for autoclaving (an enclosed chamber for sterilisation of instruments under a specified pressure while some are for incineration
“But the hallmark is that waste must be treated and made environmental friendly to avoid health risk.
“If medical waste is not well disposed, you could be generating samples that could easily infect a whole community.”
Chollom said that some officials in charge of waste management in some health facilities are not well trained on the proper way of disposing medical waste.
“Due to their ignorance, they handle waste with levity and such waste is littered around”.
Chollom explained that medical waste should not be incinerated, saying that if they are incinerated, they could lead to virus entering the community through the air.
“People and the environment are vulnerable to airborne pathogens, this danger must be avoided at all cost,” he said.
He said that incineration of medical waste at low temperatures releases toxic emissions which might contain heavy metals and dioxins.
He said that the residual ash might also contaminate food and sources of drinking water.
He said that disposal of medical waste should be handled by properly trained officials to mitigate the spread of diseases and pollution of the environment.