But that was exactly what happened in Dar es Salaam last week; horror was the word when freshly dumped human organs were discovered at a local dumpsite in the city. It was as if the gory scenes from the ‘Hostel,’ ‘Saw,’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ had just come to life.
As usual, urban legend speculations opened the first chapter; the prologue rumours was that ‘Jack the ripper,’ had moved into Dar and was busy slicing up the residents, the second rounds of gossips were deeply etched in supernatural beliefs, somebody must be busy offering human sacrifice to some sadistic gods.
Eventually, however when the truth came out, the parts of dead bodies were linked to a medical facility which as it happens did not have the proper equipment to dispose of remains of human tissues, organs and even chemicals.
The human organs scandal in the end was tightly shrouding the International Medical and Technological University in Dar es Salaam after the latter was discovered to have carelessly disposed of those pieces of dead human beings from their training laboratories.
But the IMTU saga was not to be an isolated incident; following the human-organs saga, more skeletons eventually started coming from other medical facilities’ closets.
“Many dispensaries, hospitals and health centres in the country do not have appropriate facilities to destroy their waste products,” stated Dr Edwin Kuzwa, the in-charge at the SOS Hospital in Ngaramtoni area on the outskirts of Arusha City.
Dr Kuzwa revealed another shocking revelation; “There are some hospitals that of late have been instructing expectant mothers reporting for maternity services at their facilities to bring along large plastic containers; you know what that is for?” he asked.
The answer was revolting; apparently, immediately after delivering their babies, those women are expected to collect any waste they would produce in the plastic containers for disposal.
“And that is because most health centres for some reason, do not have waste and tissue burning equipment at their facilities,” pointed out the medical expert. That should also explain why dogs love to frequent hospital environments; it is not just for left over foods.
So how does Dr Kuzwa’s hospital deal with the situation? “Very simple, we have a properly constructed incinerator capable of totally destroying human tissues, chemicals and other forms of medical wastes from our treatment centre,” he explained.
But maybe most hospitals find incinerators expensive additions to their already overwhelming costs of medical facilities that need to be frequently upgraded and maintained; besides, others figure that the machines even have to be imported.
“Not exactly, because we have a government-run engineering outfit in Arusha which designs and manufacture these incinerators on tailor made basis, they make the equipment depending with particular needs and size of pocket,” said the medical official.
The state-owned Tanzania Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organisation (TEMDO), has been around since time in history, producing practically all types of locally designed machinery as well as repairing most of the imported ones.
“Installing incinerators at medical facilities is as important as treatment itself,” explained the Director General of TEMDO, Dr Kalutu Koshuma, adding that if there is a place where dangerous garbage are produced then it should be at hospitals and dispensaries.
“Health centres churn out various types of medical wastes including chemicals that could be dangerous upon contact with people or animals; human tissues and organs that may be infectious to others and discarded surgical tools equally lethal,” pointed out Dr Koshuma.
He warned that, some medical facilities let their waste products enter the main public drainage or solid waste management system, which can spread deadly diseases to the mass. “Hospital wastes must not be let out of the compound,” he insisted.
And that was why TEMDO which is located in Njiro Area, south of the Arusha City, came up with own designs of incinerators, capable of destroying such medical waste products without trace within an hour of intensive heat application inside their closed chambers.
The organisation produces and undertakes the task of fixing such equipment for clients rather cheaply, they claimed. Well at least, more affordable than facing the costs as well as consequences of having your facility closed down as it was the case with IMTU.
TEMDO Engineer, Richard Eliamringi, said their incinerators can handle waste products of more than 50 kilogrammes per single intake and reduce the latter to soft ash within 50 minutes of 1000 degrees centigrade burning, without puffing out destructive fumes or in other words, they are ‘environmentally friendly.’
But should the whole country start sending in requests for the incinerators, can TEMDO handle the demand? “We are capable of producing 50 such equipment per year,” said the engineer, adding that ten local hospitals are already using their incinerators.
And what about those who want to know how they should describe ‘incinerators’ in Kiswahili? “Simple, the singular name is ‘Kiteketezi,’ or ‘Viteketezi’ in plural,” they defined!
Written by MARC INKWAME in Arusha.