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Proper management of medical waste

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24th-Oct-2017       
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RECKLESSLY handling of medical waste is posing serious threat to public health due to presence of infectious materials. It is directly causing infections to human beings and animals and also polluting air and water to make life unsafe. The medical waste disposal system in most public and private hospitals is dysfunctional and the medical employees sell plastic equipment for reuse or recycle instead of destroying the stuffs. Such hazardous materials carry water borne diseases, cause kidney damage, cancer, asthma, nervous breakdown, early hair fall and other serious health problems. But most hospital authorities and the City Corportions are not taking the threat seriously. When heavy rainfall submerges the city, the waste spread over and cause outbreak of diseases. The City Corporations must handle the waste efficiently while hospital management must take the issue seriously to make sure that the wastes are  be collected and treated carefully.

The New Nation reported that a total of 349 hospitals of DSCC, 405 of DNCC, 31 of Savar and 61 of Jessore are disposing medical waste systematically with the help of an NGO. But many other medical facilities producing medical waste and dumping them openly around the country. Every hospital must have in-house waste treatment facility but in reality it's not there. Waste management is a basic challenge for the City Corporation workers as they can collect 70 percent of waste. Due to high economic value of syringe, blood and saline bags in the recycling market, hospital workers are not dumping them, rather selling to the dealers and thus hazardous portion of the medical waste is spreading out. Some 14 to 15 tonnes of medical waste produced per day by these hospitals but only 7.65 tonnes are treated.

The Environment Conservation Act 1995 states that 'no industrial unit or project shall be established or undertaken without obtaining, in the manner prescribed by rules, an Environmental Clearance Certificate from the Director General.' But many such hospitals and diagnostic centres are established without any proper arrangement of the medical waste management. The Environment Department or the Director General of Health Service hardly has any monitoring mechanism to look into the matter. The fact is that people are not properly aware about the threats. The people who are also working with the waste management are not quite conscious about the threat to their life and to public health. 

It goes without saying, the government should take absolute responsibility of arranging proper collection and disposal of medical waste. Its management must follow scientific rules and safety measures. The government should also strictly monitor the private and public hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres violating the disposal rules. They must be forced to properly manage their medical waste keeping it away from the reach of the people and polluting environment. Violators must be punished.


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