Hospital Waste Management
Improper handling and disposal of infectious hospital waste is one of the major causes of AIDS, Hepatitis and many other diseases. Hospital waste includes needles, syringes, blades, broken glasses, nails, tissues, organs, body parts, human flesh, foetus, blood, body fluids, drugs, chemicals, bed linen, utensils etc. According to an estimate around 250,000 tonnes of medical waste is annually produced from all sorts of health care facilities in the country.
Though there are laws and law enforcement agencies but there is no proper system of disposing off this waste. Most of the hospitals in private and public sector do not maintain proper arrangement for the collection and disposal of infectious and toxic waste. No international principles and standards are observed or implemented in this connection. This illegal and unprofessional practice is creating environmental hazards as well as serious threat to the public health.
- EcoWatch raised this issue in the Environmental Protection Tribunal for the first time in the history of Pakistan and complained against 16 public and private hospitals.
- Incinerators have installed that are satisfactorily functioning now.
- On the directions of Environmental Protection Tribunal, Health Department has circulated and implemented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) according to the standards prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO).
- The City District Government Lahore has launched a Master Training Programme to train doctors and paramedical staff for proper disposal of hospital waste. This program is being implemented through Executive District Officer (Health) with the collaboration of ECOwatch.
- A monitoring team has also been formed to monitor proper implementation of hospital waste management program in all hospitals and health centers in the Punjab province.
- This program is being extended to 32 districts of Punjab in the first phase and all over the country at later stages.