Today Nicholas and I went with Emmanuel to check out the incinerator at Mulago Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Uganda. Emmanuel is a grad. student at Makerere University who also works here at T4T, and he's being doing research on the Mulago incinerator for a while. We discovered that Mulago is having some serious incineration troubles. They recently spent billions of Ugandan Shillings on the purchase of two new incinerators. They really didn't think the decision through because the new incinerators are fuel assisted and each of them consumes around 80 liters of fuel per day. The hospital soon found that it couldn't afford to keep operating the new incinerators, so now they have reverted back to using the old one. The old one still uses fuel on it's start up, but the burners turn off as soon as the incinerator reaches required temperatures. They say that the incinerator achieves secondary combustion, as it has a secondary combustion chamber, but the black smoke that pours out of the chimney is evidence that secondary combustion is not really happening. While we were checking things out, we were suddenly told to leave by the site manager. I was pretty confused, so Nicholas and Emmanuel informed me that because of the huge mistake the hospital has made, wasting so much money on a poorly thought out decision, they work hard to keep their blunders under wraps. They got pretty defensive when they saw us walking around taking pictures of their facilities. It was a pretty interesting situation. Nicholas talked about how he spent a lot of time advising Mulago on proper incineration practices, but they never listened to him, and they refuse to admit their mistake. It was a pretty interesting situation. Very telling as to how things work around here.
Here you can see the smoke coming out of the chimney. Apparently this is less than normal. There is also smoke coming out of the base of the chimney that's hard to see. The point is that this is incinerator has it's fare share of problems. In the top left corner of the picture you can see a bit of the new incinerator's chimney. It is huge and completely unused.
These are pictures of the incinerator's combustion chambers. You can't really tell from the pictures, but the room that houses this machine is incredibly smokey and particles of ash are floating around everywhere. It was pretty shocking to see all this at what is supposed to be one of the best hospitals in Uganda.