The incinerator at Adjumani Hospital, which was built four years ago, has burst due to overheating.
For the past four months, support staff at the hospital have been dumping medical waste within the enclosure of the incinerator instead of burning it.
The hospital administrator, Mr Michael Ojja, told Daily Monitor on Wednesday that the incinerator broke down due to continuous burning of accumulated waste from the hospital.
“The waste has increased due to the overwhelming number of admissions and people visiting the outpatient department. But we need to find solutions to protect the staff and environment,” Ojja said.
The hospital medical superintendent, Dr Dominic Drametu, said they had asked the government for construction of a new incinerator.
He said the incinerator was too small to dispose of the hospital’s voluminous medical waste.
Patients admitted to the general ward next to the incinerator expressed fear of infections arising from poor disposal of hazardous medical waste.
According to the 2013-2014 annual health sector performance report, Adjumani Hospital registers 11,731 in-patients, 83,953 outpatients and 1,695 deliveries.
Incineration of heavy metals or materials with high metal content (in particular lead, mercury and cadmium) releases toxic metals to the environment and the burnt medical waste contains micro-organisms that are potentially harmful to human beings, according to WHO.