A non-government organisation in Gujarat has started collecting medical waste from various hospitals in and around Porbandar city thrice a week on alternate days here.
Members of the Manav Seva Trust collects medical waste from 180 hospitals spread over an area of 100 kilometres with the help of its covered vans. The waste is disposed in an electric furnace on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
"We collect medical waste from 180 hospitals in Porbandar on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We dispose it safely and, thus, we are preventing environment pollution," said Rajesh Bhandiya, a staff of the Bio-Medical Waste disposal project of the Manav Seva Trust.
The waste is disposed off as per the guidelines set by the State Environment Ministry at an incinerator built by the Trust in the suburb of Porbandar.
"We have a special furnace that uses all the bio medical waste as fuel. This is reducing pollution in this place. Earlier doctors used to throw the medical waste in open areas which was dangerous," said Anil Karia, President of Manav Seva Trust.
The service has influenced the city doctors who view the service of Manav Seva Trust as a big help and relief. "The bio-medical waste disposal project started by Manav Seva Trust is very beneficial for society. Earlier, doctors here had to wait for vehicles of pollution control board from Jamnagar to dispose their hospitals' medical waste. But now we have this trust to take care of it. Bio medical waste, if not disposed off properly, can cause various diseases and environment pollution," said Dr. Narender Jadeja, a practitioner in Porbandar.
Volunteers and the staff of Manav Seva Trust collect the medical waste in two bags—yellow and red. The two separate coloured bags are meant to denote bio-degradable and recyclable waste such as papers, plastic, metal glass and others.
Bio-medical waste like cotton gauges and bandages, amputated body-parts, medicine wrappers, syringes, bottles and others are generated from health care establishments, and also from institutions such as blood banks, pathological laboratories and research institutes.
Compared to municipal solid and industrial wastes, bio-medical waste is more dangerous due its infectious nature. As such bio-medical waste management is a special branch wherein the hazards and risks multiply and affect the community.