By: Asif Hassan jaan
Hospital waste management means the efforts and practical approaches towards the proper collection, storage, arrangements and dumping of waste materials produced by different hospitals while performing different healthcare facilities, such types of waste includes hazardous or risk-waste and non-risk wastes.
The different types of risk wastes are chemical waste, sharps, pathological waste, infectious waste and radioactive wastes, the non risk wastes are common paper products and garbage’s etc. as we know hospital waste management is a formal discipline and does occupies a critical place in the management of health sector, such a methods requires complete removal and disposable of waste material from health care establishments by using possible methods which helps to minimize the risk of public health and environment.
Hospital waste management must be dealt with proper using of guideline and precautions with diligently, the management of waste material requires proper knowledge and regulations and should be carried out by specialists only, proper arrangements is taken in developed countries but under developing countries like in Pakistan dumping of waste materials ends up on the road sides and empty plots without being properly treated. Such acts can coasts for residents and surrounding environment, the main reasons behind such activities are the rapid increase in population. To meet the legal and appropriate requirements usage, storage, treatment and disposable of waste can be very expensive and difficult. Being a new phenomenon it has grab attention of people all over globe which terms waste management sorting processing, recycling, reusing of materials unfortunately in our country it is mostly lacking in small health care establishments, they should prepare their own written policies and measuring for proper waste treatment approaches. The proper management of health care waste totally depends on good administration and organizations along with there active participation for informed and well trained staff such activities can be properly managed with the help of adequate finance.
The main groups at risk mostly in our cities are public, patients, medical staff, professionals, waste disposable facilities and other workers etc. numerous disease can be transmitted by the most common ones are AIDS and Hepatitis A, B and C. Mostly small units hospitals dumped their waste openly at their premises along the road side, neither proper hospital waste management system have been developed in our cities besides the existing of Pakistan Biosafety Rules 2005.Nor the concerned professionals and responsible person are aware of resulting situations.
It has been commonly observed that the total waste quantity generated by small hospitals and health centers is usually deposited by municipal waste carriers in openly areas without applying proper methods of waste disposable, toxic gases and chemicals are discharged in air due to installation of improper incinerators in various places which may lack filters and scrubbers, only a few of hospitals have proper incinerators. Hazardous waste material should be segregated from solids waste and should store in sealed containers. Proper land fill should be used for dumping of such types of waste materials and all incinerators working without filters should be banned.
All hospitals in our cities should ensure proper disposable of waste, in order to prevent pollution and infection, bad practices of reselling and reusing of needles and other equipments without sterilizing should be also banned. Hospital should be well equipped with well drainage of water supply proper locking system to prevent access to unauthorized persons, animals, birds and insects. The generators of waste are responsible for proper disposable. So hospitals should maintain clean environment.
The hospital waste management plan outlines should obey the rule of government of Pakistan environment protection act (PEPA). 1997 which provides a complete framework for establishing such rules and regulations, government agencies and other relevant persons should implement schemes for the proper disposal of waste produced by small health care units in our cities. Pakistan is in a phase of creating hospital waste management techniques but attitude of staff and public is not efficient enough to implement such rules, it is due to lack of knowledge and proper trainings of staff. Different awareness sessions should be given to public and staff which can help us to implement such rules, there is much need of rising awareness about medical waste and its relative issues, the role of pharmacy professions in this area is significant besides selling and producing of different items they should also provide proper guideline for dispose of such items, hospitals encouraging sessions for staff and patients can also helps to reduce and minimize risks associated with hospital waste management.