The Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, says the authority will start enforcement action against health facilities that do not dispose medical wastes properly.
Gbadegesin said this on Monday in a statement signed by its Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Mr Kayode Akinleye.
According to him, there is need to curb the spread of infectious diseases in the state in the face of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic globally.
Gbadegesin said the authority’s monitoring activities had revealed that many private and public health facilities still co-mingle their hazardous wastes.
He added that this was capable of harming health waste haulers, refuse workers and even the environment.
”Medical waste produced in the course of healthcare activities carries a higher potential for infection and injury than any other types of waste.
“Inadequate and inappropriate handling of it may have serious impact on public health and the environment.
“Hence, appropriate management of hospital waste is thus a crucial component of environmental health protection that must be an integral feature of health care services,” he said.
Gbadegesin said LAWMA was committed to the welfare and protection of healthcare providers, medical waste handlers and the general public.
He said this necessitated its improvement of waste management services in the healthcare sector.
Gbadegesin said the authority had put modalities in place to monitor the waste management practices in health facilities to ensure they were in line with international best procedures.
“The goal is to protect healthcare providers and workers, waste haulers and handlers, refuse workers and the general public from potential risks associated with the medical waste,” he said.
Gbadegesin said the authority had embarked on an enforcement campaign to ensure that medical facilities stopped the act of waste co-mingling, which posed health hazards to their patients and other residents.
He said that any healthcare facility found co-mingling medical waste and domestic waste would be sanctioned.
The LAWMA boss said this was to protect health seekers, healthcare givers and to curb further spread of the current pandemic disease (COVID- 19) amongst other diseases.
He said the authority had cordial relationship with the Ministry of Health, Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), and other stakeholders in the health sector.
The managing director said they collaborated by organising workshops, seminars and other channels to sensitise healthcare facilities, on steps to properly manage classified wastes.
Gbadegesin said residents should observe good environmental practices and personal hygiene at home, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.