Conference on Bio-Medical Waste Management Issues
In pursuing their aims of reducing health problems and eliminating potential risks to people’s health, health-care services inevitably create waste that may itself be hazardous to health. The waste produced in the course of health-care activities carries a higher potential for infection and injury than any other type of waste. Wherever it is generated, safe and reliable methods for its handling are therefore essential. Inadequate and inappropriate handling of health-care waste may have serious public health consequences and a significant impact on the environment. Sound management of health-care waste is thus a crucial component of environmental health protection.
In India, nearly 484 tonnes per day of bio-medical waste is been generated from 1,68,869 healthcare facilities HCF), out of which 447 tonnes per day is treated. The quantum of waste generated in India is estimated to be 1-2 kg per bed per day in a hospital and 600 gm per day per bed in a clinic. According to World Health Organization, 80-85% of total amount of waste generated by healthcare activities is the general waste. Only 15-20% waste is considered hazardous which may be infectious, injurious, toxic or radioactive. Poor management of healthcare waste exposes healthcare workers, waste handlers and the community to infections, toxic effects and injuries. Lack of awareness about the health hazards related to healthcare waste, inadequate training in proper waste management, absence of waste management and disposal systems, insufficient financial and human resources and the low priority given to the subject are the most common problems connected with healthcare waste management.
The BMW need to be properly segregated at source of its generation and colour coded for transportation, storage, appropriate treatment and disposal. In order to streamline the waste collection, processing and disposal practices in the country, the Government of India in 1998 notified rules known as the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. These Rules were revised from time to time. On March 28, 2016, the Government of India published the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 in supersession of the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. In the new BMW Rules, 2016, several changes and additions have been made to further improve the collection, segregation, processing, treatment and disposal of the biomedical wastes in an environmentally sound manner.