An epidemiologist, Dr Linus Onoh, urged hospitals in the country to properly dispose waste and medical consumables to prevent the spread of hepatitis.
Onoh, who is a Consultant Public Health Physician with the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Parklane, Enugu, made the call in an interview with the press in Enugu.
He said improper disposal of hospital waste and medical consumables could promote the spread of diseases, noting that contagious diseases could be recycled from waste materials from the dumpsites.
According to him, ordinary waste should be bagged in black bag before being taken to dumpsite, while waste like syringes should be packed in yellow bags and burnt immediately.
He added that “contagious waste, mostly from surgical operations, should be bagged in red bags and buried deep down the earth.
“To get rid of hepatitis in our hospitals and homes, special attention must be paid
to waste and medical consumables disposal.
Most times when these medical waste and consumables are disposed carelessly in dumpsites; scavengers go and pick them up and clean and sell them to medical stores and chemists.
This is rampant with syringes used in hospitals and other personal medical consumables,” he said.
The epidemiologist urged the public, especially mothers, to ensure they immunised
their children against hepatitis, and advised adults to go for test and
if found positive, should take early immunisation.
Onuh urged medical practitioners to always observe rules of general cleanliness in their health facilities.
“Health professionals must make washing of hands a regularly practice.
Once you attend to a patient or touch a surface, you as a medical professional must wash your hands even if you are wearing hand gloves,” he said.