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Health centres have to manage waste effectively: Experts


Thiruvananthapuram : Efficient management of bio-medical waste by hospitals and health care institutions remains a matter of grave concern in the country, experts said at a seminar in this Kerala capital Monday.

“Though the health care waste management in the country is receiving greater attention due to regulations like Biomedical Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, an effective waste management plan for health care establishments is the need of the hour”, said Air Marshal (retired) Lalji K. Verma, the president of the Indian Society of Hospital Waste Management (ISHWM) in New Delhi.

Verma said this while delivering the keynote address at the two-day national seminar on hospital waste management organised by the Trivandrum Management Association.

Last week a dozen nurses, attached to the state-run Trivandrum Medical College, fainted from the smoke of hospital waste being burnt.

Verma, former director general of medical services in the Indian Air Force, said a patient’s right to healthy environment and surroundings, apart from justifiable and logical treatment, is an inalienable right.

Studies have shown that about 20 percent of waste is infectious or hazardous.

Infected waste must be disinfected at the earliest and it is necessary to have a waste management plan based on “system approach”, and not an “end of pipeline” solution, he added.

S.D. Jeyaprasad, chairman of Kerala State Pollution Control Board, urged increased awareness and constant commitment among hospital administrators, the medical fraternity and also the waste handlers working in hospitals for safe handling of bio-medical waste.

According to a paper by R. Ramachandran, member secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Board, so far 11 sites have been identified in Tamil Nadu for the private sector health care units to establish common facilities covering 2,480 hospitals generating about 16.5 tonnes of waste per day.