HEALTH CARE WASTE MANAGEMENT SCENARIO IN WEST BENGAL
The wastes generated from health care units are generally classified as infectious and non-infectious. The infectious health care wastes are termed as ‘bio-medical wastes’ and are considered to be potentially hazardous in nature. The disposal of untreated bio-medical wastes mixed with non-infectious health care wastes or other general municipal wastes poses an environmental threat and public health risk.Indiscriminate disposal of untreated bio-medical waste is often the cause for the spread of several infectious diseases. It is also responsible for the nosocomial diseases i.e. the hospital acquired diseases to the health care personnel ...view middle of the document...
· Waste from isolation wards.
The amount of infectious waste is near about 25% of the total wastes generated from a health care establishment.
NON-INFECTIOUS HEALTH CARE WASTE: Non-infectious waste is broadly classified as Kitchen waste and Office wastes. It is similar to household waste. Non-infectious wastes constitutes nearly 75% of the total wastes generated from a health care unit.
In absence of proper segregation, the non-infectious waste becomes infectious and poses environmental threat to the society.
Bio-medical Waste Survey
The quality and the quantity of the bio-medical wastes generated from health care units depend upon a number of factors such as waste management methods, type of health care units, occupancy of healthcare units, specialization of healthcare units, ratio of reusable items in use, availability of infrastructure and resources etc.
The All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata conducted a study on Hospital Waste Management in W.B., sponsored by the WBPCB in the year 1996-97 and concluded that
General waste containing food wastes, paper, plastics, floor sweeping, discarded glassware, earthen pot etc. constitute bulk (56-78% by weight) of the hospital waste.
Waste generated in large government hospitals in Kolkata, is 1044 gms/bed/day whereas waste generated in large government hospitals in districts is comparatively low at 397 gms/bed/day.
Certain salvageable items like saline bottles, surgical gloves, I.V. fluid bottles syringes etc. are disposed after use in the wards without distorting or damaging. As a result, there remains a possibility of reuse of the said items.
Incinerable waste constitutes 19-30% (by weight) of the total waste generated.
During the year 2002-2003, the Health & Family Welfare Department, Govt. of West Bengal conducted a waste survey at different Govt. hospitals of various categories in West Bengal under the West Bengal Health System Development Project(WBHSDP). The average generation of different types of healthcare waste for different categories of hospitals is tabulated below.
Health impacts of Bio-medical Waste(BMW)
Exposure to infectious BMW can result in disease or injury. It may contain infectious agents, toxic or hazardous chemicals or pharmaceuticals, radio active wastes and waste sharps. The infectious wastes may contain any of the great variety of pathogenic microorganisms. Pathogens in infectious wastes may enter the human body through a number of routes like a puncture or cut in the skin, mucous membranes, by inhalation or ingestion.Sharps may not only cause cuts and punctures but also infect the wounds if they are contaminated with pathogens. Because of this dual risk – of injury and disease transmission – sharps are considered as a very hazardous waste class.
Poor hospital waste management may cause the following:
· Hepatitis B & C
· HIV infection
· Gastro-enteric infection
· Respiratory infection
· Blood stream infection