August 22nd, 2018
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Disposal of medical waste
September 16th, 20114,318 views

Medical waste, due to its content of hazardous substances, poses serious threats to environmental health in Bangladesh. The hazardous substances include pathological and infectious material and chemical wastes such as rejected bandages, cut off tissues from operations, used syringes and needles, etc.

The growing number of hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic laboratories in Dhaka city exerts a tremendous adverse impact on public health and environment. These generate a huge amount of wastes a day. Like ordinary household wastes, medical wastes are generally dumped into Dhaka city Corporation (DCC) bins. The liquid and solid wastes containing hazardous materials are simply dumped into the nearest drain or garbage heap respectively.

It is a common sight in Dhaka city that poor scavengers, women and children collect some of the medical wastes (e.g. syringe-needles, saline bags, blood bags etc.) for reselling despite the deadly health risks. It has long been known that the re-use of syringes can cause the spread of infections such as AIDS and hepatitis.

Proper management of medical waste is crucial to minimise health risks. The improvement of present waste management practices for HCC in Bangladesh will have a significant long-term impact on minimising the spread of infectious diseases. Medical wastes require specialized treatment and management from its source to final disposal. Thus, there is a need to initiate a concentrated effort to improve the medical waste management to reduce the negative impact of waste on: environment, public health and safety at health care facilities.

Nighat Sultana

Dhanmondi, Dhaka