Yangon medical-waste collection system goes high tech

The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) will use a bar code technology based on the World Health Organization (WHO) standard in its hospital waste collection system starting at the end of the year, a senior committee official said.

U Aung Myint Maw, deputy head of the YCDC Pollution Control and Cleansing Department, said the move aims to ensure proper disposal of hazardous medical waste collected from the hospitals around the city.

“We can start this technology at the end of this year. It will be more convenient and effective in collection of waste from hospitals and clinics using barcode technology,” he told The Myanmar Times.

The WHO standard classifies hospital wastes into seven categories: infectious waste, sharp waste, chemical waste, pharmaceutical waste, pathological waste, radioactive waste and pressurised containers.

YCDC will collect fees from hospitals and clinics once it starts implementing the barcode technology for the collection of medical waste.

At present, the committee only classifies medical waste into two categories, sharp and non-sharp.

There are nine dedicated vehicles collecting hazardous wastes from hospitals every day and the wastes is disposed off at the dump in Htin Pin Cemetery in Hlaing Tharyar township.

Aside from improving its hospital waste collection system, the YCDC is also constructing a new incinerator capable of reaching a temperature of 1,200 degrees Centigrade to replace the old incinerator, which operates at a much lower temperature, at the Htin Pin rubbish dump.

Once the new incinerator is operating at the end of this year, it will be able to dispose of 20 tonnes of medical wastes per day.

“Officials from hospitals that use barcode technology for disposing the hazardous medical waste can also check our YCDC diposal vehicles thanks to inventory and tracking system in barcode technology,” U Aung Myint Maw added.

Some three tonnes of hazardous medical waste is produced daily by 72 of government and private hospitals and nearly 4,000 polyclinics in Yangon Region according to the Pollution Control and Cleansing Department.

Source: Myanmar Times

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