Bio-medical waste outside hospitals raises infection risk
Without proper mechanism to dispose of bio-medical waste, the hospitals in South Kashmir are increasing the risk of life threatening infections.
The District Hospital Anantnag as well as Maternity and Children care hospital mostly remains littered with used syringes, needles, plastic items, bandages and empty medicine and saline bottles as the bio medical facility Lassipora which has been tasked to do the job, does not clear the hazardous waste regularly.
Same is the case with other District and sub district hospitals of Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian." It is an irony that the District Hospital, Anantnag which caters to huge rush of patients daily is surrounded by bio-medical wastes," said a an attendant of a patient admitted in the hospital.
He said that the dust bins installed at the hospitals overflow for want of being emptied in time. At Maternity and Children Care hospital, the situation is more grim with wastage lying all around. This puts the pregnant women and infants at greater risk of contracting infections.
The Bio-Medical Management and Handling Rules, specifies that bio-medical waste should be dumped at a place, which is at least 2.5 km from the hospital, and should be treated in a waste disposal plant. "The bio medical facility of Lassipora too is not regularly lifting the wastage in time, thus putting to risk the lives of patients as well as other people", said an official in administrative unit of District Hospital.
He said that the scrap dealers and rag-pickers, who roam freely in hospital premises, get hands on these used syringes and are exposed to risk of getting deadly infections- like HIV and Hepatitis."How can we be sure about the needles, catheters and other equipments used in casuality and dressing sections, being not reused in absence of proper waste disposal mechanism," he asked.
He asserted that the rag pickers who are found collecting these wastes should be booked.
"Even the human waste in District hospitals in South Kashmir and Maternity and Children Care hospital is not disposed off in a scientific way posing more risk of infections," he added.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Anantnag, Dr Fazil Kochak, also admitted that the clearing of wastage is delayed by Bio Medical facility, Lassipora.
"We always ensure that the waste is dumped properly but then despite repeated reminders the contractors have been adopting callous approach towards lifting it regularly," he said.