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Jan 10, 2020

M.O.H. Responds to Reports of Medical Waste Dump in San Antonio

Marvin Manzanero

Earlier this week, you heard a resident of San Antonio Village complain about the burning of medical waste in the village. That resident told us that the matter has been going on for years and it has become a problem, particularly for those who live nearby to the dump site. Residents there reported that they are getting sick and that it has become unbearable to live in their homes as a result of the stench.  Today, we spoke with Doctor Marvin Manzanero of the Ministry of Health.  He told us that the site was intended to be a short term plan but that before it was used, it was cleared with the Department of Environment. He says that they are seeking a long term solution to the problem.


On the Phone: Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Service, MOH

“The short term plan is what I think had been agreed upon, as I understand it, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, which was the identification of an area where the garbage would have been placed and then burnt where possible. So, the area identified, as we understand it, is in San Antonio on the same compound as the facility. We had to do an assessment of the area to ensure that there was no seepage of biological waste into the area around it. I believe they had placed some cement walls into it and that is what we have in place as the interim measure; with the medium term measure being the identification of another bigger piece of land in the community where this could have been continued. My understanding, from the discussion with Dr. Gutierrez earlier in the day, they have not been able to identify any other suitable area. All other areas possibly identified we were told that this would have to be sold to us and so that has not materialized. The long term plan is including that and other community in terms of having incinerators established within the facilities – so a bigger plan for incinerators to pick up the bulk of all that biological waste that we generate.”



“Is this practice unsafe for people living in the area?”


On the Phone: Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“I did ask that specific question and I was told that it’s not that close – I don’t know the area so I am being guided by what she said – that it was not the ideal but there wasn’t any type of toxic fumes or so being generated. Again, I don’t know because I haven’t been there physically to see the closeness of the housing community.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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