JIS News

Construction is advanced on a medical waste facility in Kingston as a means of dealing with such waste.
This was revealed by Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, during his presentation in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate at Gordon House on June 3. He said that the World Bank is providing funding for the project through the HIV/AIDS programme at a cost of $114 million.
“This is a pilot facility, which uses the autoclaving (sterilization of cultures and waste materials prior to disposal) and shredding technology. When the facility is operational, it will accept medical waste generated from all government health care facilities in the Southeast Region,” the Health Minister explained.
In the meantime, Mr. Spencer informed that the National Sanitation Policy, which is in its final draft, will be taken to Cabinet this year for approval.
In addition, the Ministry will be promulgating two new regulations during the course of this legislative year, under the Public Health Act. The regulations are: National Drinking Water Regulations, and Regulations for Permitting and Licensing of Septage Haulers and Portable Toilet Operators.
Highlighting plans to increase activities in environmental health, the Minister informed that “we will bolster the area of environmental health and public health inspection by creating a support group of staff in environmental health to be called Auxiliary Environmental Health Officers/Auxiliary Public Health Inspectors, to ease the severe shortage in the area”.
He noted also that the Ministry will be recruiting, training and deploying a minimum of 130 candidates – young graduates/high school leavers to join the environmental health system.
Additionally, the Ministry is finalizing a Cabinet submission for a National Vector Control Programme, Mr. Spencer informed. “The submission will outline the financing of the national programme in areas such as staffing, procurement of supplies, adaptation of new technologies and strategies for vector control, strengthening the surveillance systems, and improving our intersectoral and inter-agency capacities,” the Health Minister stated.

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