Department of Environment host educational waste management workshop in San Pedro
Thursday, February 20th, 2020
On Wednesday, February 19th, the Department of Environment invited health care professionals and members of the media to participate in a waste management workshop. Their aim was to educate health care personnel and the public on proper disposal methods of medical waste and regulations in place for medical waste disposal. Attendees ranged from registered nurses, public health officers, lab technicians, and veterinary assistants. The workshop was led by the Managing Director of Belize Environmental Technologies (BET) Mr. Ismael Fabro, representatives of DOE Dr. Isani Chan and Mr. Edgar Eck.
Fabro explained the importance of proper medical waste disposal is integral to keeping the environment healthy, minimizing the risk of spreading infectious diseases, and curbing pollution. Medical waste includes, but is not limited to, bodily fluids, syringes, surgical tools, and vaccines. He gave a brief background on international agreements that Belize based its regulations on and how they’re being implemented across the board. The DOE has been conducting inspections country-wide to ensure regulations are being followed. He said that the National Guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control for Health Facilities (NGIC) is the body responsible for drafting the regulations that medical personnel must abide by in order to avoid hefty fines upwards to $25,000 or up to two year’s imprisonment.
These regulations can be found on the DOE’s website for public viewing. While these regulations are in place for healthcare facilities, they hope to implement it in other areas that aren’t, including barbershops and tattoo parlors where razors and needles are commonplace. All of the information presented is accessible electronically through the DOE’s website and social media.
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