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Bio-Medical Waste

Bio-Medical Waste is a major public health and environment concern. Bio-Medical waste is generated in the process of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. Pathogens and hazardous chemicals/materials released through health care activities generally reside in the wastes generated in the process. These pathogens and hazardous materials, if not properly treated and disposed, may cause serious damage to human health and environment turning health care institutions from centres of disease prevention and cure to sites of disease proliferation.

Bio-Medical waste is only 20% of the total waste generated in hospitals. These must be separated from municipal waste at the point of generation. Utmost care should be taken regarding sharps needles etc. Bio-medical waste should be suitably treated through steam sterilization and / or chemical disinfection. Efforts should be made to recycle treated waste as much as possible and incineration should be avoided except in case of anatomical waste produced in bulk in large cities.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, has notified The Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1998 and The Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) (Amendment) Rules,2003 to provide for statutory and obligatory guidelines for health care waste management.Central Pollution Control Board has also issued guidelines on Central Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTF) and Design and Construction of Incinerator. However, the implementation of these Rules and guidelines as well as the condition of medical waste management in general, remains grossly unsatisfactory.

DISHA campaigns for safe management of bio-medical waste in an eco-friendly and sustainable method. The key to proper management of health care waste lies in their proper segregation, treatment and disposal. DISHA advocates a system for bio-medical waste management that has the following basic features:

  1. Reduction of the amount of waste
  2. Reuse of materials with proper safety
  3. Resource recovery through composting and recycling
  4. Economic and
  5. Effective