The National Department of Health has condemned the dumping of medical waste next to the road between Mdantsane and East London in the Eastern Cape. File Image: IOL
The National Department of Health has condemned the dumping of medical waste next to the road between Mdantsane and East London in the Eastern Cape. File Image: IOL

National Department of Health condemns disposal of medical waste in Pretoria

By Vernon Pillay Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Cape Town - The National Department of Health
 has condemned the dumping of medical waste next to the road between Mdantsane and East London in the Eastern Cape. 

This was after it was reported by a number of media outlets. 

The department said that "the inappropriate dumping of medical waste is dangerous for public health".

"It can lead to infectious diseases. The National and Eastern Cape Departments of Health are working with the National Health Laboratory Services to establish how this medical waste ended up where it was found."

"The medical waste has been identified as the property of the National Health Laboratory Services. What is worrisome is that this was not just medical waste but specimens, " the statement said. 

"These specimens have identity numbers and contact details of individuals. The courier company that was contracted must be traced and provide answers as to what happened to get to the bottom of this situation."

"In our view, this is an intentional criminal act which must be condemned strongly. It is a violation of people's rights and dignity when the test kits containing their personal information are found next to the road. We are hopeful that an investigation will be done and those found responsible for this be held accountable", t he department said. 

Pregnant moms placed in danger

Earlier in the week, the Eastern Cape Health Department also condemned the behaviour of health professionals for abandoning patients in maternity wards at Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth and Frere Hospital in East London.

This come after pictures and videos of patients sleeping in the corridors the maternity wards were shared online over the weekend. 

Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said no matter the grievances of health professionals, abandoning patients could never be condoned.

"This placed expecting mothers and their unborn babies in grave danger," Kupelo said.

Read More: Pregnant moms placed in danger by being 'abandoned' at Eastern Cape hospitals

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