The persistent vandalism of the incinerator at Walukuba health center IV incinerator in Jinja district has raised concern among health workers.
The bricks meant to enclose the incinerator from direct exposure to the surrounding communities were dismantled before being stolen between December 2022 and early January 2023.
The chimney which would limit exposure to poisonous smoke during the burning of medical waste was also stolen. Apparently, health workers pile medical waste in plastic bags before torching it in the open.
On Wednesday, one of the midwives told URN on condition of anonymity that the health center is surrounded by vast land and most of the children in the neighborhood easily access the medical wastes, which they innocently use as playing tools with their colleagues.
Joseph Wakonte, the in charge of Walukuba, said that the health facility is surrounded by a wetland, which makes it easy for medical waste to end up in the community drainage systems. Wakonte notes that vandals first vandalized the perimeter fence around the health center in 2018 before resorting to the incinerator.
Wakonte says that he has since informed his superiors at the Jinja city hall about the mess and he is awaiting their response concerning its restoration. Rajab Kiito, the Jinja city council spokesperson, says that the matter is being investigated and efforts to source funds to construct another incinerator are underway.
Jinja Resident City Commissioner, Darius Nandinda says that preliminary investigations indicate that the incinerator was vandalized by some individuals conniving with Jinja city council officials to grab the contested land. Nandinda notes that much as the original land title indicates that the incinerator was constructed on government land, some individuals illegally acquired a 49-year sublease on the same plot of land.