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Untreated bio-medical waste
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, AUG 30 (NPN):
Published on 31 Aug. 2010 12:36 AM IST
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Disposal of bio-medical wastes by hospitals, nursing homes and clinics is becoming a serious issue as it poses grave health hazards to public.
Bio-medical wastes include- a variety of discarded items that could be carrying disease-causing germs including hepatitis and AIDS. Even items such as live vaccines, laboratory samples, cultures, used needles and lancets used to puncture, cut or scrape the body and human or animal body fluids or waste are included in the list
The issue is how are bio-medical wastes being disposed off by all the hospitals, nursing homes and clinics?
The problem of efficient disposal of bio-medical wastes confront all districts in Nagaland where it was reported, that none of the hospitals or clinics have adopted scientific methods to dispose off the wastes. Bio-medical wastes are incinerated inside scientifically built ovens and disposed off.
There are around 40 medical units including laboratories operating in Dimapur alone . Incinerating machines in a few hospitals were found to be out of order while some were having problems with neighboring landowners who were opposed construction of incinerating units near their residences. The common method for disposal was to dump the wastes or bury them underground.
According to reliable sources, no clinics or hospital in Dimapur was fully equipped to handle bio-medical wastes.
Even with the enactment of Bio-medical waste (management and handling) Rules 1998, which was set up to control the indiscriminate disposal of hospital waste/bio medical waste, a majority were ignoring the laid down rules. It may be noted that the act applies to all hospitals, nursing homes, veterinary hospitals, animal houses, pathological labs & blood banks, generating hospital wastes in addition to clinics and dispensaries. Another cause of concern is the dumping of untreated bio-medical waste directly through open drainages. Advisor DMC sanitation department Er. Veikholie, acknowledged the seriousness of the issue and disclosed that a questionnaire has been distributed to most of the hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and pharmacies. Based on this, some actions will be drafted out soon. He also informed that a separate dumping ground for bio-medical waste will have ton worked out.
Potential implications of bio-medical waste include increased risk of infections, change in microbial ecology, dispersal of antibiotic resistance, degradation and impact on environment of improperly operated Incinerators or other medical waste treatment equipment. The problem of disposal of bio-medical waste is becoming serious and authorities need to act without further delay.

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