A medical waste expert, Mr Jide Onayiga, on Tuesday advised the Federal Government to implement policies that would make states to comply with best medical waste management practice.
Onayiga, who is a consultant with the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He made case for special funds to be provided and infrastructure put in place to enable states to prioritise and improve medical waste management for the welfare of hospital workers and patients.
“With the collaboration between LAWMA and the Federal Ministry of Health, LAWMA will be issuing certificate of clearance to all hospitals, we are looking at private hospitals.
“So, what we’ve put in place, this year for the first time, is like LAWMA will issue the certificate and the certificate means where or who is taking care of your medical wastes.
“So the information is passed on to HEFAMA (Health Facility Monitoring Accreditation), so when they come in for registration they have to get that certificate from LAWMA, to show that they are in compliance.
“Then the second thing we are looking at again is, any facility any personnel that violates, the Medical Director (MD) will take the responsibility.
“Part of what we are looking at is for them to attend the mandatory class on medical waste management, including the MD of that hospital.
“So, government is putting a lot of things in place besides the awareness, also control measures and punishment. “
Onayiga said the Federal Government needed to strengthen efforts at formulating effective guidelines for proper disposal of medical waste.
He said, “Government needs to make available resources to states and mandate them to be part of what the Lagos State has initiated.“
He urged the public to contribute their quota by ensuring that it complied with the best ways of medical waste disposal.
The consultant also called for sustained sensitization of the public to the proper ways of disposal of such waste.