In remote areas of Nepal waste is usually dumped in nature and eventually burned with an open fire. The absence of a working waste management system can be problematic, especially in hospitals. When infectious biomedical waste is disposed in this way, it can release toxic fumes and contaminate the groundwater. This can impose a great threat to the local population as well as to the environment.
Therefore, Technology without Borders was contacted in order to provide a clean solution for the disposal of infectious biomedical waste in the Myagdi District Hospital in Beni.
The town of Beni is located in central Nepal around 300 kilometers west of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. It is the district headquarters of Myagdi district. Beni is situated at an altitude of 899 meters and is home to nearly 30.000 people. Myagdi District Hospital is running 50 beds and provides its services to the public, serving patients coming from all parts of the district. A total of 55.000 patients per year have received a wide range of health services. The hospital staff consists of around 65 people, nine of them doctors, and provides emergency services 24/7.
To enable an environmentally friendly disposal of the medical waste in Beni the local partners and Technology without Borders will build an incinerator for the hospital which is based on the DeMontfort Mark 8. The incinerator is made of clay bricks and welded steel parts which can be bought in the region. Despite its simple design it allows an incineration in two chambers with temperatures over 800°C to burn and decontaminate biomedical waste. To reach these temperatures the incinerator has to be heated up with paper and plastic waste.
Hence, the incinerator can only be operated efficiently long-term in conjunction with a working waste management system in the hospital. The goal is to develop and establish a concept in collaboration with the hospital administration to separate the hospital waste.
To guarantee the correct use of the incinerator there will be theoretical as well as practical training. At least two members of the hospital staff will be taught the operation mode of the incinerator and will put the gained knowledge into practice during test burnings. In addition all of the staff will participate in workshops to explain the importance of waste separation and operational safety and how it should be executed on a daily basis.