Khammam: Increasing bio-medical waste in Khammam and Kothagudem towns is a matter of concern to the officials.
Human life has become more convenient and comfortable due to the development in industry, infrastructure, medicine, information technology, and agriculture. However, this development has had a detrimental effect on the environment.
The increasing number of diseases due to environmental problems are caused by setting up more hospitals in the private and public sectors.
There are 383 private hospitals in Khammam and 296 in the Bhadradri district. Additionally, there are 60 primary health centers, six community health centers and four other hospitals in the aforestated districts.
These hospitals have been producing tons of hazardous medical biowaste every year. Like for garbage management in urban bodies, there is no mechanism to treat the waste prior to discharge. This waste is sometimes infectious and sometimes, even radioactive.
Consequently, there is a high likelihood of spreading unknown diseases if it is not managed properly.
Production of disposables by pharmaceutical manufacturers is also increasing the amount of biomedical waste. It is alarming that many hospitals are discarding the remains of body parts after surgeries into bio-medical waste bins.
Unfortunately, there is no proper mechanism to treat this waste. The doctors, nurses, technicians, sweepers, hospital visitors, patients, rag pickers, and their relatives are exposed routinely to biomedical waste and are at more risk from the many fatal infections due to indiscriminate management.
Due to improper management, this infectious waste gets mixed with solid waste. During the rainy season, there is a high probability of infectious substances mixing with groundwater and spreading hazardous diseases. Khammam town has turned into a center for hospitals and became home to over 100 private hospitals. Owing to the availability of experts in various departments like neurology, cardiology, gynaecology, orthopedics, and other departments, patients from Bhadradri, Suryapet, and Warangal districts would come to Khammam for treatment.
As per guidelines, hospitals should not mix medical and clinical waste. All disposable plastic should be subjected to shredding before disposal.
The final treatment of medical waste can be done by technologies like incineration, autoclave, hydroclave, or microwave. Barring one or two, most hospitals are following the methodology in the disposal of the waste....