By: Janet Audu Peni

Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has concluded arrangements to strengthen Healthcare Waste Management System across the width and breadth of the Federal Capital Territory.

Accordingly, the strengthening will commence from the 250 square kilometers of Federal Capital City before moving to cover the six Area Councils to tackle the surging population of the Territory.

The Director of AEPB, Engr. Osilama Braimah, who made this disclosure during a project meeting in Abuja, said that this feat will be actualized through its Department of Solid Waste Management and Sanitation.

The Director stated that AEPB has recently moved to prioritize healthcare waste management, and build the capacity of waste management workers at healthcare institutions in the FCT.

He welcomed the collaboration of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, (JICA), that has been working with AEPB on the Integrated Solid Waste Management System project, in the FCT, from 2015 to 2018.

The Director recalled that AEPB made a request to JICA on the behalf of the FCT Administration, to help develop capacity on health care management, with regards to special wastes, generated in hospitals in the Territory.”

His words: “JICA Nigeria Office, carried out a data collection survey, (2018-2019), regarding healthcare waste management and its findings showed that the management system is inadequate. The survey especially revealed that although the national guideline for healthcare waste management (2013) and the healthcare waste management policy in FCT (2017) exist, the actual collection, transportation, and final disposal of healthcare waste were not properly implemented based on these guideline and policy, and that waste management workers at healthcare institutions do not have the requisite knowledge and have not received appropriate training.”

Braimah said that a spike in healthcare waste generation was experienced due to the spread of COVID-19, which exacerbated the problem and also justifies AEPB request for assistance from the Japanese Government to strengthen the capacity for healthcare waste management, known as Dispatch of Advisors.