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Toxic medical waste incinerator planned in Viet Nam

NGHE AN Central Nghe An Province will build a modern incinerator to treat toxic medical waste in Vinh City and adjacent districts during 2012-20.

The local Health Department will submit its plan to the provincial People's Committee in August, said Pham Van Thanh, director of the department.

If approved, the project is expected to be immediately carried out, Thanh added.

Construction costs are to be covered by official development assistance (ODA) and investment from local companies, he said.

The initiative is based on the overload of current toxic medical waste incinerators.

The new facility will be equipped with advanced microwave technology and have a daily capacity of 2.5-3 tonnes in solid toxic medical waste.

Advanced microwave technology is expected to minimise the impact of environmental pollution.

Le Thi Chau, head of the provincial Paediatrics Hospital's Bacteria Contamination Control Department, said the hospital had no specialised incinerator to treat its toxic medical waste, which it used to transport to the Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital for treatment.

Cao Thi Hue, a technician at the tuberculosis hospital, said that since November 2011, it has treated the toxic medical waste of four other local medical centres, which has led to the frequent breakdown of its own incinerator that, according to reports, has dealt with around 2.5 tonnes of waste this year.

"In the short term, we will build medium-capacity incinerators in districts of Vinh City to counter current overload," Thanh said.

We will make every effort to operate medium-capacity incinerators as soon as possible, he said.

According to statistics from the local Health Department, the province has 39 hospitals with more than 7,300 sick beds.

On average, the hospitals discharge about 2.5-3 tonnes of toxic medical waste a day. VNS

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