JOOTRH Leading the Way in Waste Management

JOOTRH Leading the Way in Waste Management

By  By; Lilian Ambrose, Fenny Achieng and Kevin Arubansi                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) is at the forefront of improving its waste management practices. The hospital implements efficient and sustainable strategies to handle medical waste, ensuring a safe, clean, and healthy environment for everyone.

Effective Segregation and Advanced Technology

Kennedy Aluko, a machine operator with over six years of experience at JOOTRH, describes the meticulous waste segregation process. The hospital utilizes a color-coded system with different bags for various waste types:

  • Black bags: General waste
  • Yellow bags: Infectious waste
  • Red bags: Highly infectious waste
  • Safety boxes: Syringes and blades

Waste is then shredded and disinfected using an advanced microwave shredding machine, a significant improvement over the previously used incinerator. This innovative technology provides several benefits:

  • Reduced Labor: The microwave shredding machine simplifies the process compared to the labor-intensive incinerator.
  • Environmental Protection: Unlike incinerators that generate heat and air pollution, the microwave system operates at high temperatures (over 100 degrees Celsius) for effective disinfection without environmental harm.

Prioritizing Staff Safety and Training

JOOTRH prioritizes the safety of its waste management staff. The hospital provides essential protective gear, including safety boots, overalls, masks, and helmets. Aluko emphasizes the importance of safety: “The management offers us daily milk to neutralize chemicals and reduce their impact on our respiratory system. They also replace worn-out safety clothing promptly.”

Furthermore, JOOTRH invests in staff training to ensure efficient and safe operation of the advanced machinery. Aluko acknowledges the valuable training he received, allowing him to perform his daily tasks effectively.

Challenges and Collaboration

Despite the advancements, JOOTRH acknowledges ongoing challenges. Improper waste segregation at times and occasional machine malfunctions can disrupt the shredding process. Aluko suggests regular maintenance to minimize downtime.

Teamwork and commitment are core values at JOOTRH. Aluko emphasizes the importance of collaboration among staff members to ensure efficient waste management.


Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital serves as a model for sustainable and responsible medical waste management. Through effective segregation, advanced technology, and a focus on staff safety and training, JOOTRH is creating a healthier environment for patients, staff, and the surrounding community.

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