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A public health crisis is looming following the discovery of traces of harmful chemicals in vegetables that are irrigated with water from a source contaminated with medical waste.
Researchers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) say the Subin River in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region capital, has been contaminated with medical waste from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and Military Hospital.
Researchers found 12 different types of antibiotics in vegetables that have been grown with the contaminated water.
The Subin River flows into other rivers and also serves as a major source of drinking water for some communities.
Researchers warn that people drinking from the contaminated river or eating the contaminated vegetables, risk severe complications during treatment for bacterial infections.
Researchers say during testing, the levels of the 12 common antibiotics found in the hospital wastewater were higher, compared to those found in surface water used for irrigation.
Meanwhile, officials of the hospitals claim they treat their wastes properly before disposing of them into the river.
These revelations are contained in an upcoming JoyNews documentary titled ‘Superbug’.
Officials at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and other city officials have since begun consultations on the situation.
Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor reports that details of the study have shocked many residents in Kumasi.
”The various CEOs and entities that put their waste in the river are meeting to address the situation,” he reports.
He said there are discussions to finance a project that will ensure proper disposal of medical and other wastes into the river.