(This article was published in The Kathmandu Post on 08 Jan 2013.)
JAN 08 –
Rajesh Karki, a Bir Hospital paramedic, recalls the time when hazardous medical waste, including syringes, bloody cotton swabs, used plasters and wraps, were mixed together haphazardly and discarded like so much household waste to be taken away by a municipality vehicle. Apart from the foul smells emanating from such waste, dissected organs and foetuses were a normal sight on hospital premises.
However, things have changed in the last three years. “All the 26 wards and the emergency area have multi-coloured bins where different kinds of waste are collected and properly managed,” Karki said. “Everyone feels the difference now.”
The country’s oldest hospital, on July 20, 2010, launched a medical waste management programme, which has since become an example for the country. The hospital administration, with support from Health Care Foundation-Nepal (HECAF), started the programme to properly manage and dispose of hazardous medical waste that had long been finding its way into community landfills. Continue reading »