Gulu: Psychiatric patients risk contracting more infections

Gulu Regional Refeeral Hospital admin block. Courtesy photo.

Gulu regional referral hospital that has no any other dumping site except one in front of the mental health department unit leaves psychiatric patients at high risks of contracting more infections, TND News findings show.

In an engagement with Mrs Akello Immaculate, the in-charge of the mental health department says she has ever raised the issue of burning medical wastes next to the psychiatric department to the hospital administrators but nothing has been done about it.

Despites all the promises they have been making, she however says issue of wastes management was discussed in a meeting yesterday [Wednesday] and they hope something will be done about it, including emptying the container on weekly basis.

The in-charge says she has also been complaining about the burning of the garbage, adding that she advised for creation of a wall separating main hospital and mental unit, but due to financial problem, “they have not been able to construct it”.

“The smoke that comes out of the garbage burning is not healthy for both the patients and the staffs including the community that passes by,” she adds.

She says, “as it’s being next to the mental health department, a patient can just decide and jump into the fire and this adds more problems to them”.

The principal administrator Tibemanya David, when contacted said he was not aware of the wastes being burnt in the open.

” I thought the garbage were burnt using the incinerator, i will look for ways of disposing off the wastes,” he promised.

Garbage burning started last year but previously they had a container that the municipal authorities could go and empty on a weekly basis.

But since the year started the garbage collectors have not come.

Ocan Michael, the environmentalist says burning of the wastes such as plastics gloves, among others contain chlorofloral carbons which is an ozone and this contributes to great impact on our local climate.

He adds burning plastics and other containers in the environment, the smoke contains chlorine which causes lung cancer as people inhale the smoke

He therefore advises the hospital administrators to come up with a comprehensive medical waste management plan which includes how they are generated, collected, stored and transported.

Jenny Rose Okilangole, the acting district health officer of Gulu district says all hospital wastes should be incinerated and the sharps and infectious wastes has to be decontaminated before disposal.

This, she says is to help people from being affected.

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