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Hospital apologises over waste disposal

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Management of Blantyre Adventist Hospital has issued out an apology regarding pictures that have been circulating on social media showing the health facility’s staff burning cartons in Sunnyside, Blantyre City.

The incident, which did not follow laid-down waste management systems, took place on Thursday last week.

The pictures were taken by a concerned citizen who complained that the hospital’s staff members were dumping waste in the neighbourhood which is not a dumpsite.

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“When I was passing the bridge between Sunnyside and Dharab, parked was a Blantyre Adventist Hospital branded pick-up truck with two people in white coats dumping waste nearby.

“I was so annoyed that I parked my car on the side and took pictures. When they saw that I was taking pictures, they got in their car and drove off. As such, I went to take a closer look [and] realised that they had burnt what looked like empty [cartons]. This is a big concern because the river is already badly polluted,” the concerned citizen said.

In reaction, the hospital has issued a press statement in which it says its custom, as a hospital, is to use its own incinerator to dispose of any waste which it produces.

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“However, our incinerator developed a fault some weeks ago and is out of service. Since then, we have been using the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital incinerator to dispose our medical waste and Blantyre City Council to dispose any other waste.

“Our organisation would like to assure the general public and our clients that we take matters of the environment seriously and are committed to the preservation of the same. The staff in question were as a result under directions to follow our instituted guidelines when disposing off waste.

“It therefore comes as a shock for us as management that the employees decided to do otherwise,” reads the statement signed by the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Kirby Kasinja.

The statement further reads that the employees involved will be disciplined accordingly.

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