Residents complain about insanitary condition, stench at Hospital’s waste facility
Plagued with rodents, flies, mosquitoes and unhealthy odour, persons residing next to the Woodlands Hospital are calling on the authority to relocate its hazardous waste storage facility or ensure the waste are kept in a sealed enclosed area.
On Thursday, a chain of emails detailing the complaints to the Ministry of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was shared with the media.
Contained in the email are a number of photos showing bins overflowing with medical waste.
Blood and used syringes can also b
e seen spilt on the ground.
Following a report in the media on Friday, the hospital cleaned up the facility.
Officials from the Ministry and the EPA also rushed to the area to look into the issue.
However, the residents believe that there will be no long-term solution to the problem since they have been complaining since 2015 and have not received any favourable response.
Vishnu Persaud, who is residing next to the storage area, 109 Carmichael Street, on Saturday showed the News Room a letter sent to the hospital on April 01, 2015, outlining a number of measures which should be implemented to remedy the situation.
One of the recommendations include an enclosed air-conditioning unit but this was never implemented.
He disclosed that the hospital’s waste is only emptied once per week.
Persaud said his children are currently sick, with vomiting and diarrhoea and he is convinced that it is as a result of the surroundings.
“When the sun hot or when it rains, rodents are running around, the stench is unbearable. I made a lot of complaints, but nothing is being done,” Persaud said.
The man said he also attempted to meet with the administrator of the hospital, but “like them ain’t got no time with that.”
He added that when the when the area is cleared once weekly, the dirty water flows into the passageway that is traversed by residents to get to their home, while he had instances in the past where the blood from the waste is left on a part of his house which he had to clean himself.
Another woman, who resides in the area, but did not want her identity to be revealed for fear of victimization, related that when the medical wastes are transferred from the yard to the garbage trucks, blood, used syringes and vials are scattered in the walkway and left there.
“You see when the people come to empty it (medical waste), and when that thing start to smell, I have to lock my house up. I have two grandchildren (6 and 9 years old) and they say they can’t take the smell. Even me, when I inhale that, the entire week I don’t want to eat any more. I am sick inside my stomach,” the distressed woman said.
She showed the News Room marks about her body which she suffered as a result of mosquitoes.
She said the mosquitoes are breeding in the water that is left in the passageway from either the private hospital’s cleaning or a leaking tank, which is located next door.
She also spoke of damages to the walkway by the garbage trucks.
The News Room attempted to get in touch with the Administrator of the Hospital, Deonarine Memraj, but he was not yet in office.
Subsequently, after being transferred by the operator, several calls to the phone went unanswered.
However, a report carried in the press on Saturday quoted Mr. Memraj seeking to lay the blame on disposal service and the way they handle the medical waste.
He told the media outlet that the passageway does not allow the trucks to get as close to the facility as they should, thus they are forced to fetch the waste to the trucks.
The Administrator was also quoted as saying that the disposal service does not find it feasible to empty the garbage more than once per week.
An EPA team, which visited the area on Friday, is expected to submit recommendations and help to have the issue resolved.