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Marty Offline OP
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The Government of Belize, through the Department of the Environment within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, signed the Medical Waste Regulations on November 29, 2021. These regulations are aimed at ensuring that medical waste is managed throughout the country through improved storage, transportation, and disposal.

The Government of Belize endorsed the enactment of these regulations recognizing that medical waste management is largely unregulated and unmanaged in Belize and the effects it has on human health and the environment because of improper incineration and open burning of medical waste. The regulations also considered the advancement of the pilot project of a medical waste autoclave system installed at the Mile 3 Transfer Station in Belize City.

During the development of the Medical Waste Regulations, stakeholders were directly engaged in all major municipalities targeting all health care providers in the human health and animal health sectors. The regulations came into effect on November 29, 2021.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Government presents new system to dispose of medical waste

A set of rules guiding to how properly get rid of medical waste now makes it illegal and fineable to dispose of it improperly. The Medical Waste Regulations ensure that medical waste is managed via improved storage, transportation, and disposal throughout the country. The Medical Waste Regulations were signed on November 29, 2021, by the Government of Belize, through the Department of the Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management. The government-endorsed the enactment of these regulations recognizing that medical waste management is largely unregulated and unmanaged in Belize and its effects on human health and the environment due to improper incineration and open burning of medical waste. The regulations also considered the autoclave system installed at the Mile 3 Transfer Station in Belize City. This system will burn medical waste and reduce the release of organic pollutants into the natural environment.

In San Pedro Town, according to information from the previous management of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, the clinic deals with two types of waste. Green, which is regular trash generated from the offices and other areas of the clinic, and red waste. The San Pedro Town Council picks up the green waste, but the red, which includes syringes and other items containing fluids such as blood, must be disposed of by the clinic. It was reported that the red waste was disposed at the local dump. The disposal is usually done at least once a week by reportedly only one person allowed to be near the bags carrying the waste. A specific area of the dump is selected where it is burned in a hole to get rid of any hazardous substances or pathogens; afterward, the burned waste is buried. The method is considered safe since its incineration helps kill any bacteria or virus and the designation area warns anyone to stay away from it. The practice also revealed that anytime this type of medical waste is disposed of, the local authorities and San Pedro Town Council, are made aware of the activity. Attempts were made to contact representatives of the polyclinic to verify if new procedures have been implemented in medical waste management, but the person in charge was unavailable.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


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