TANZANIA Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) in Lake Zone have warned the public against irresponsible disposal of medical wastes, citing their health and environmental hazards.
This comes amid growing attitude of some members of the public, who randomly throw away wastes including solid and liquid medicines instead of dumping them in rubbish pits at home.
Issuing the warning, TMDA Lake Zone Drugs Inspector, Mr Mtani Magesa, said any leftover drug should be properly disposed with directives as in hospitals.
“I advise the members of the public to bring any medicine left-overs to any hospitals near, because they have incinerators (incinerator is a furnace for burning waste) instead of throwing anyhow in open pits, which endanger environment,” he said in an interview with the ‘Daily News’ recently.
However, he added, the authority was yet to conduct study to determine the magnitude of the problem of irresponsible disposal of medical wastes in homes.
The Inspector noted TMDA has legal mandate to manage disposal of medical wastes, adding that the procedure should be followed as guidelines issued in 2009.
“There are two types of medical waste disposalvoluntary and involuntary disposal. The involuntary disposal is done when the authority seizes medicines and medical devices over various reasons, including poor quality or counterfeit and disposing them according to the law.
“When someone wants to do involuntary disposal, they should first submit their request to the TMDA on their intention and lists of drugs to be disposed attached to the request. “After confirming the products and their value, the authority arranges a date and place where the wastes would be disposed.
The authority is also responsible for informing other institutions to be involved in the disposal exercise, including the police force, district environment officer and others.
“It’s very important to consider proper ways of destroying unfit medicines and medical devices, because the procedure guarantees complete disposal of the medical wastes of substandard drugs and thus avoid effects to the environment and people’s health,” he stated.