With a increase in the number of healthcare facilities, Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad collectively generate over 5900 tonnes medical waste annually, most of which remain untreated and dumped with municipal waste and thus cause serious health and environment hazard, reveals the Assocham.
According to estimates, Delhi and NCR region alone annually generate bio-medical waste of about 5900 tonnes, in which share of Delhi is roughly around 2200 tonnes. NCR consisting of Noida/Greater Noida creates 1200 tonnes of bio-medical waste and Gurgaon produces 1100 tonnes of such a waste while Ghaziabad share is estimated around 800 tonnes. As far as Faridabad is concerned, estimates reveal that this town generates 600 tonnes of bio-wastes, adds the Assocham latest findings.
However, lack of proper disposal of hospital trash can pose serious risks to people’s health and environment. The waste disposal should be done as per policy guidelines framed by state government, said Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat. As per the findings, the capital generates nearly 200 tonnes of medical trash per day in the past ten years.
Segregation and collection facilities for medical and clinical wastes needs improvement not only in Delhi and NCR but in cities like Meeurt, Loni, Bulandshahar, Ludhiana, Jallandhar etc.
About 65% of the hospital waste is non-hazardous, mixing of the hazardous trash with general waste leads to contamination. This leads to a risk of infections and diseases to anyone coming in contact with such items.
Waste pickers often come in contact with piles of waste, which may having syringes or bandages with blood on them, a potential source of infections and diseases. Proper segregation of the waste, be it at a healthcare facility or at homes, is important to ensure that waste pickers do not face such risks, adds the paper.
India has seen an unprecedented growth in the number of hospitals that have sprung up across the country. The non-treated hospital waste always causes public health risks, the potential health effects of which include AIDS, Hepatitis B & C, Gastroenteric infections, Respiratory infections, blood stream infections, skin infections, effects of radioactive substances and intoxication.
The Assocham has further cautioned that centralized bio-medical treatment plants should be put up in series as growing economy like India has huge prospects for future healthcare facilities which will come up in abundance especially through private-public partnership (PPP) initiatives in which healthcare will acquire prime importance. No sooner than it happens especially the identified cities need to be equipped with disposal facilities so that not only public safety and health is protected but environment and ecology are prevented from degradation, pointed out Assocham.