Medical waste found dumped

2015-12-03 09:39
Daymed housekeeping supervisor Eleanore Landers, maintenance manager Dickson Anafi and hospital manager Roy Sookraj inspect the waste found at World’s View plantations.

Daymed housekeeping supervisor Eleanore Landers, maintenance manager Dickson Anafi and hospital manager Roy Sookraj inspect the waste found at World’s View plantations. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A pile of medical waste has been found hidden in the World’s View plantations.

Transparent plastic bags thrown on top of each other containing what appeared to be bloodied bandage packets, hospital gowns, used drips, and scores of medicine boxes litter the clearing.

It was discovered by World’s View resident Hugh Temple on Monday evening. Temple said he had gone for a late afternoon walk in the plantations when he stumbled upon the pile of waste.

He said he was hesitant to go through the waste without any rubber gloves and instead inspected the contents of the bags through the plastic.

“There were a few papers scattered around, that suggested some of the waste might belong to Daymed Hospital, although one cannot be sure before looking through all the bags,” he said.

“Whoever dumped the waste here did so very recently and went to a bit of effort to hide it in the plantations.”

When a Witness reporter went through some of the waste yesterday morning, an IV bag, half filled with fluid, and labels with confidential patient details such as names, medical aid schemes, ward numbers and treatments were found.

The labels dated to November 11 this year, meaning the waste had been removed from the hospital and dumped within the last week or so.

The shocked Daymed private hospital manager Roy Sookraj did an inspection at the site yesterday morning and said the waste appeared to be general waste.

Later in a statement, he said, “The hospital has two contractors to dispose of general and medical waste.”

Sookraj said investigations into the dumping of the waste would be conducted and uMngeni Municipality had given Daymed permission to remove the waste from the plantations.

“Upon enquiring from the general waste contractor it was established that he did subcontract a few disposals and accepts full responsibility for the incident.

“Daymed private hospital is committed to a safe environment and does not condone the actions of the general waste contractor,” said Sookraj.

Pietermaritzburg has had multiple issues with illegal dumping in the past.

Earlier this year, a massive illegal dump site was found in Phayaphini, a township on the outskirts of Prestbury.

The dump, which had filled one of the main water catchments for the Ashdown river, was overflowing with rubble, general waste, rotting animal carcasses and decomposing asbestos.

The beginnings of another illegal dump at the end of Neville Road in Prestbury, although smaller, also seemed to contain decomposing asbestos, a toxic hazard for humans and animals alike.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  medical waste

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