The fourth (4th) phase of the waste management of used Covid-19 vaccine vials is underway in the Ashanti Region.
The six-day (August 31, 202 – September 5, 2021,) operation which begun Tuesday at the Adum Pampamso Maternity and Child Health Hospital, is a collaboration among waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health, School of Hygiene and School of Public Health of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
It is aimed at providing medical waste services for vaccination centres in the Ashanti Region and across the country during the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine, targeted at ensuring that used Covid vaccine vials and its ancillary supplies are safely and correctly stored, collected, treated and disposed of.
The exercise involves the provision of waste bins, colour-coded bin liners, routine collection of waste, transportation with specialised trucks, treatment and disposal of the potentially infectious vaccination waste.
Speaking to journalists, a Principal Community Nurse at Adum Pampamso Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Ms Portia Bammoare Bukari, indicated that patronage of the vaccine has been encouraging.
“Patronage has been good, howbeit, there was not much announcement prior to the start of the exercise,” she said.
She disclosed that as of 8:00 a.m., about fifteen (15) people had already taken their second jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine, adding “we are expecting about 200 people a day.”
She, therefore, used the opportunity to advise the public that the exercise was catering for persons who have taken the first vaccination of AstraZeneca.
Ms Bammoare commended the government and Zoomlion for ensuring that the used Covid vaccine vials were properly disposed of.
On the vaccination proper, she said some of the people after taking the jab complain that they eat a lot, while others say they usually have headaches.
From the Adum Pampamso Maternity and Child Centre, the medical waste management team moved to Anwiam Hospital Limited Kejetia Clinic.
Addressing journalists, the Ashanti East Regional Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Franklin Ofori Akufo, disclosed that his outfit will undertake the operation in about 180 health centres in the region.
According to him, each health centre has been provided with two bins—one for general waste and the other for biomedical waste.
He explained that their task is to collect the used vaccine and treat them well before disposal.
“We have also been mandated to ensure proper management of healthcare waste from all vaccination centres,” he indicated.
This, Mr Ofori Akufo stressed, was to reduce the potential spread of infections from used syringes and other infectious waste materials.
At the KMA Clinic Centre, the Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Metro Health Directorate, Joana Tawiah Burgeson, was full of praise for Zoomlion and its partners for especially its periodic collection of their medical waste.
She pointed out that they have enough vaccines to cater for people who will be coming for their second jabs.
Health centres that benefited from the exercise on day one included KMA Clinic, Awiam Clinic- Afful Nkwanta—under Subin Centres, and Mater Dei Hospital, Suntreso Government Hospital—Nhyiaeso Centres.
The others were Asokwa Municipal Centres, Agogo Hospital, SDA Hart, Asokwa Health Directorate, Lady Julia Hospital, SDA Hospital Kwadaso, Tiwaa Memorial Hospital, Maranatha Hospital, Tafo Government Hospital, Manhyia Government Hospital and Asokore Mampong Health Centre—all under Asokwa Municipal Centres.