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‘99.9 per cent of medical waste safely treated’

1 Sep 2021

The year 2020 remained an unpredictable one due to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the challenges that defined the year, be’ah proudly achieved 100 per cent municipal waste service coverage through its 4,172-strong service providing manpower network.

‘The company now serves all citizens and residents along the length and breadth of Oman, deploying systems, practices and tools that are on par with international standards. Additionally, be’ah decommissioned all known traditional dumpsites across the sultanate and is currently working on rehabilitating them,’ be’ah said in its annual sustainability report.

‘So far, 31 of the 40 sites identified as priority have been rehabilitated. Ten engineered landfills and 16 transfer stations are in operation across Oman. The 11th landfill and five additional transfer stations are currently under construction,’ the report added.

As it is known, be’ah treats 99.9 per cent of the medical waste generated annually in the safest and most efficient manner at its three treatment facilities, which is a commendable achievement towards safe medical waste disposal. 

be’ah currently operates three sites to handle industrial waste, while an additional state-of-the-art treatment facility for the same is being readied to become operational by 2025.

Due to its nature, medical waste poses a significant risk of infection, contamination, and injury. It is generated from hospitals, health and dental clinics, blood banks and veterinary facilities, as well as medical research institutions and laboratories.

Healthcare waste can contain infectious agents, sharp objects, toxic material, hazardous chemicals or pharmaceuticals, that can be radioactive and genotoxic. Healthcare institutions across Oman annually generate around 4,500 tonnes of healthcare waste, the highest quantity of which is produced in Muscat governorate. Dhofar, North Batinah and South Sharqiyah governorates come second in this regard. About 15-20 per cent of the total medical waste generated, is hazardous in nature. 

All individuals exposed to hazardous medical waste are potentially at risk, including those within healthcare establishments and those who handle such waste. Mismanagement or careless handling of such waste can have serious consequences on public health.

be’ah’s state-of-the-art medical waste treatment facilities have been established as per the latest international standards recommended by the World Health Organization to ensure safe management and disposal using the latest scientific methods and technologies.

Through its pilot projects and recommendations towards implementation of the best practices for medical waste management, be’ah successfully launched the management of carcinogenic waste (genotoxic and cytotoxic) in Oman, which will enable proper segregations of such critical waste streams and streamline the process of managing and selecting a proper treatment at medical waste facilities.

be’ah also introduced specialised purple bins to segregate cytotoxic and genotoxic waste at The Royal Hospital and the Sultan Qaboos University. The colour purple is a recognised international waste segregating code for such healthcare waste. 

With the outbreak of the pandemic, be’ah activated its medical waste management contingency plan in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

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