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Barrow Inaugurates World Bank Sponsored Clinical Waste Treatment Plant

President Barrow speaking at the inauguration of the World Bank sponsored $5 million clinical waste treatment plant in Farato in the West Coast Region on 5th July 2022 

By Landing Ceesay

President Adama Barrow inaugurated the World Bank sponsored $5 million clinical waste treatment plant in Farato in the West Coast Region.

The clinical waste treatment plant increases the safety of employees and patients by reducing the potential to sustain a sharp injury potential, along with the costs of direct and indirect treatment as a result.

The $5 million project is fully funded by the World Bank as part of its efforts in establishing environmentally friendly healthcare waste management in the Gambia.

President Barrow said the project is one of several important projects funded by the World Bank within the health sector and “this one is a prominent milestone in the health care delivery system of our beloved country”.

The Gambia President said the project highlighted the fruitful relationship between Gambia Government and the World Bank.

“Medical waste is a harmful material produced by hospitals, health centers, clinics, laboratories and other health facilities and must be properly discarded to avoid contamination. The introduction of modern waste treatment methods is, therefore, one of the most important strategies for infection prevention and control. Waste Management is a big challenge for most countries. It is a bigger challenge when it gets to managing medical waste,” Barrow said.

Barrow said poor infrastructure and insufficient waste management capacity make matters worse for many countries; adding that it is against this background, his government resolved to transform the health sector by modernizing the sector’s infrastructure, providing standard equipment and building human capacity.

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health said under President Barrow’s leadership a lot of resources are being spent on capacity building as well as training of medical doctors, training of public health officials, training of nurses and other health officials.

“We can say that the quality of health care that is received by the people in this country is standard. Your Excellency, this is what you are doing. This project, I think it’s a big plus for this country. And we are very thankful because without the focused leadership, without the leadership that you have and the trust with our leadership development of the country. Without the leadership that is sensitive to the plight of the country, we wouldn’t have been here today,” Dr. Samateh said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg, the World Bank’s Director of Operations said it is important to deal effectively with the health challenges of covid and that’s why the World Bank has stepped up with its support since the beginning of COVID-19 to support all their member countries to deal with this challenge.

He said it is very important that people think not only of the crisis management that is required in this pandemic period but equally it’s important to think ahead and how they can strengthen the health system in general.

The World Health Organization said about 85% of the total amount of waste generated by health-care activities, is general, non-hazardous waste, and the remaining 15% is considered a hazardous material that may be infectious, toxic or radioactive. 

Annually, an estimated 16 billion injections are administered worldwide, but not all of the needles and syringes are properly disposed of afterwards, it stated.

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