BENGALURU: A 100-bedded hospital is estimated to generate 40 kg of hospital waste per day. Twenty eight hospitals in Karnataka, two of which are private and the rest are government, have been chosen for a project called ‘Environmentally Sound Management of Medical Wastes in India’. The project is being implemented in the selected 28 health care facilities and one model district (Mysuru in Karnataka) in each of the five states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Government of India, is the national executing agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization is the implementing agency. The aim of the project is to eliminate the emission of organic pollutants from burning of biomedical waste. There is also a training component in this project which was launched on Monday in MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, one of the 28 selected hospitals.
Biomedical waste is hazardous with a potential to spread infection; and generation and release of high levels of unintentionally produced organic pollutants like dioxin and furan. Segregation at source is the crux of bio-medical waste management as only about 15 to 20 per cent of waste is infectious.
The quantum of medical waste that is generated in India is estimated to be 250-400 gm per bed per day in a hospital, and 200-300 gm per bed per day in a general practitioners’ clinic.
“A detailed situational analysis carried out in five states during the preparatory phase of this project showed that by proper segregation and either by applying non-incineration techniques or upgrading existing incinerators more than 50 per cent of dioxin and furans reduction can be achieved,” said Dr S Pruthvish, HoD, Community Medicine, M S Ramaiah Medical College.
Under the project’s institutional capacity building component supply of colour coded bins, covered waste collection trolleys, needle cutters, protective equipment, microwaves for treating biomedical waste will be supplied. In Mysuru, at least one common treatment facility will be developed or upgraded. Retrofitting of damaged vehicles carrying biomedical waste will be done and state-of-the art integrated system of medical waste management with complete tracking of waste movement through bar coding will be done.
Dr Sakti Prosad Dhua, regional coordinator, Regional Network on Safe Pesticide Production and Information for Asia and Pacific (RENPAP), UNIODO, said “The microwave biomedical waste machine can pulverize 65 kg of biomedical waste per batch and costs `50 lakh. Only two hospitals in India use it.”