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Jan 28, 2015

Medical Waste Discarded in Ladyville has Residents Outraged

Which of Belize City’s medical facilities dumped hazardous medical waste on a heavily trafficked road in Ladyville? At this point nobody knows. All that is certain is that on Tuesday Ladyville Chairman Albert Magdaleno found mounds of needles, syringes and other medical items strewn all over Dawn Road in the community. To say that the community is concerned is an understatement, though at this point there’s no indication of who is liable. Mike Rudon was in Ladyville this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today, there is heavy equipment cleaning up mounds of garbage which is routinely dumped here on Dawn Road in Ladyville. The traditional garbage is unsightly and unsanitary, but on Tuesday what Albert Magdaleno found on the road on Tuesday shocked him.

 

Albert Magdaleno

Albert Magdaleno, Chairman, Ladyville

“What I have found was a large amount of used syringes and needles scattered all over the streets. And so what I saw that I had to alert the health people from the Health Department. They came and they analyzed it. they checked the containers and they said this is not KHMH doings because the boxes that they were in, the biohazard boxes are high-tech, and so they said it probably comes from one of the private hospitals or private clinics that is responsible for this out here. We found syringes with the IV tube still intact, we found some of them with stale blood still inside them.”

 

The majority of the medical waste was disposed of this morning by Magdaleno and a doctor who lives in the area and heard about what had happened. Still, today we found needles and vials, as well as IV equipment. As you can see, the road where the hazardous waste was dumped is very near to a school, and the road is used by those students so it is a cause for great concern.

 

Albert Magdaleno

“Right next door we have the Ladyville Seventh Day Adventist School and some of the kids from their use this road to go to Celina’s to purchase the dollar food and two dollars food, and you never can tell what a curious child might do with a needle and stick himself or stick another child with it. and so I saw that as a big no, no and I had to alert the principal and let him know that there is hazardous material through this road, please don’t have the kids use this road at least until the area is cleaned up.”

By the end of the day, this road will be cleared of garbage, though Magdaleno says that the area has become a dumping site for residents.

 

Albert Magdaleno

“Since it’s being cleaned right now we are asking people to please stop the throwing of garbage in this area in particular, and there are many other hotspots in Ladyville where people refuse to pay the garbage truck or refuse to pay the garbage personnel that come from Belize City, so for them it is an easy way out. But then it’s also not a healthy way because these things create disease and our worst case scenario was yesterday when I came and saw those needles here. It could have infected or affected anybody who uses this area to go where they want to go.”

 

Ministry of Health personnel who visited the site on Tuesday say that they are unable to determine where the waste came from, since all identifying markers were deliberately torn off. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

News Five attempted to get an official comment from officials at the Central Health Region today, but we were informed that they haven’t found out enough to speak officially on the matter.

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