PESHAWAR: To contain the spread of contagious diseases, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department will collect medical waste from four major hospitals of the province.
The department has asked the administrations of Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar, Ayub Teaching Hospital in Abbottabad and Saidu Group of Hospitals in Swat to hand over medical waste to them on a daily basis.
In Peshawar, no hospital has a proper disposal facility. The hospitals throw the medical waste in front of the gates of the hospitals, K-P Health Additional Secretary Saqib Raza said. This not only pollutes the environment but also poses the threat of spreading diseases. The waste is dangerous not only for the people outside, but also for patients and their attendants inside.
“In the first stage, we will classify the contents of the medical disposal and then find a suitable way to dispose it of, so as to prevent the spread of communicable diseases,” Raza said.
The additional secretary further said that after collecting data from these hospitals, they would determine the quantity of syringes, blood packs, needles, sharp blades and other wastage materials to be disposed off. Next up, they would determine the types of machines required for the disposal.
He added that some hospitals used the method of disposing medical wastage through fire which gives off smoke containing dioxin gases, which are carcinogenic and thus harmful to the local populace.
“The provincial government is now focusing more on the preventive side rather than the curative one and such medical wastages are help spread hepatitis and HIV,” Raza said.
He added the will be trained in the proper disposal of medical wastes like syringes. He said a plan to install syringe cutters — to help properly dispose off a syringe — is also under consideration.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2013.