Regional News

NICVD mishandling hospital waste- Source

KARACHI: According to the sources at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), the hospital was operating without an incinerator. The hospital’s administration were disposing of medical waste unsafely. Most of the waste were being thrown away with municipal garbage. At the NICVD, dozens of cardiac surgeries were performed daily that generate a massive amount of medical waste.

The practice would lead to the spread of deadly transmittable diseases, including AIDS, Hepatitis B and C. Among many people the ones especially affected by it were Afghan scavengers. The hospital waste was also hazardous to the garbage lifting staff of the municipalities who shifted the waste to the landfill sites.

The hospital waste included human waste, garbage from surgeries, needles, syringes, saws, blades, broken glass, nails, pathological filth, human flesh, blood, and other body fluids.

According to medical experts, proper incineration of hospital waste was mandatory. Every hospital, clinic, and maternity home should be equipped with incinerators for safe waste disposal. Unfortunately, most of the hospitals in Karachi were not equipped with incineration plants.

Hazardous materials like used disposable syringes, drips, urine and blood bags, needles, fluids, and other used wastage were carelessly dumped.  Massive piles of such materials were seen near bike-parking sites. Later, the medical waste was transported to an unknown location via trucks at night.

The Sindh Health Department and the Environment Protection Department failed to check this dangerous practice of hospital waste dumping. This became a serious threat for the visiting patients, attendants, and doctors. They could contract diseases like Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV if they were exposed to such hospital waste.

The Waste Management Committee, constituted by the Sindh Health Department two years ago to implement the hospital waste management plan in the light of Sindh Hospital Waste Management Rules-2014, was also non-functional due to unknown reasons.

Chief Operating Officer, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Azra Maqsood, was not available to make any comments.

December 13, 2019

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