By Rachel Shisei, EMTV News – Madang
News Centres in and around Madang are in dire need of incinerators to dispose of their medical waste.
The medical waste is currently being thrown outside at most of the clinics, and the Madang Town Clinic located in the town area, right next to the Madang District Administration Office, is no exception.
The risk of contracting other illnesses from the rubbish exposed out in the open, especially with the biomedical waste from used sharps like syringes and needles, is critical.
It is a must that health workers handle sharps safely and dispose these effectively after use, but they are not able to do so, which may be the cause of why the number of patients are increasing and the same patients are often returning.
“Patients are coming from the Modilon Hospital and all over Madang,” said Barbra Sombari, the Madang town clinic’s laboratory technician.
The clinic itself needs a major overhaul.
The space is confined, and as a result, medicine cartons are left outside and due to them being exposed they too become part of the medical waste.
“It’s because of the spacing problem that we have to leave them outside, we cannot cater for the medicine cartons inside,” Sister In Charge, Judy Alingo said.
This risky situation is not only a threat to the patients; it is a threat also for the health workers. Patients come to the clinic in already unwell, therefore their bodies are weak and can easily pick up other disease from the medical waste.
The health workers on the other hand have no choice but to spend their days working around the rubbish everyday.
There are other serious matters from the state of the building to the medical supplies, all falling back to the clinic staff to improvise and keep the clinic’s going.
“The bosses are not really bothered about our struggles, so we are just doing what we can to help our patients and our people,” said Sombari.