Stinky waste disposal in Agusan Del Norte
State auditors opened the lid off the stench in hospitals of Agusan Del Norte that failed to dispose of their waste materials properly, posing health risks on the patients.
In a 2015 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said hospitals in the province failed to properly manage their wastes, in violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Wastes Act.
In a visit of the audit team, it was noted that hospitals do not maintain separate containers or receptacles for biodegradable, compostable, reusable and special wastes.
Although some hospitals practice segregation, the waste containers do not contain labels and do not have covers, making them vulnerable to insects and animals.
One hospital was even found using a mineral water bottle for their infectious waste. The bottle does not have a lid, the auditors said.
The storage areas were located outside the hospital in unsecured areas without protection from the natural elements.
The storage area in the provincial hospital is placed inside the hospital facility near the patients’ rooms.
There are also septic vaults of wastes which could not be opened because these are covered with heavy concrete lids that would need the help of two persons to be lifted. The septic/concrete vaults of hospitals also do not have security fences and proper signage.
The auditors said these practices “pose serious threat to the human health and to the environment.”
“The consequences of improper handling and disposal of medical wastes are serious and could lead to diseases or injuries,” the auditors reported.
The COA reminded the hospital management and the provincial government led by its governor Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba that they have the responsibility to properly store and dispose of the health care wastes to prevent any adverse health risks.