Birgunj sets up medical waste management centreThe centre has been established to safely dispose of toxic medical wastes through autoclave technology.
Birgunj Metropolitan City has built a medical waste management centre to mitigate the possible health hazards caused by the careless disposal of medical waste.
The metropolis spent Rs62.2 million to set up the Green Hospital Waste Management Centre, which will come into operation in the next few weeks, according to Nischal Raj Pandey, the chief administrative officer at the metropolitan city.
Birgunj, a medical hub of central Tarai districts, had no provision for medical waste disposal and would discard medical waste at landfill sites, risking the lives of sanitation workers and the local people.
“Birgunj has been seeing a spurt of private health institutions so it was becoming increasingly necessary to build a medical waste management centre,” said Bijaya Kumar Sarabagi, the mayor of Birgunj metropolis, who inaugurated the centre constructed at Nagawa in Birgunj-16 on Monday.
“Although the hospitals, while acquiring licenses, would promise to safely dispose of waste that they generated, we found that a majority of hospitals did not practice segregation and safe disposal of medical waste,” said Sarabagi. “It was turning into a major health risk for health sanitation workers and even for the local people.”
The Green Hospital Waste Management Centre turns hazardous medical wastes into non-toxic ones and disposes of them, according to Prakash Adhikari, an engineer at the metropolitan city.
“Around 4.7 tonnes of medical waste is generated in Birgunj on a daily basis, out of which 2.7 tonnes are toxic waste,” he said. “The centre manages the toxic medical wastes through autoclave technology.”
“The medical waste management centre has been established to safely decompose the wastes or recycle them,” said Adhikari, adding that 23 employees and some sanitation workers will be deployed at the centre once it comes into operation.
According to mayor Sarabagi, the solid waste management centre has been established with the sole investment of the metropolitan city. The metropolis has purchased two mini trucks as well to collect the medical wastes.
“The contractor of the landfill site will be given the responsibility to run the medical waste management centre for some time. The site will later be operated under the public-private partnership modality,” he said.
The metropolitan city urges all hospitals and polyclinics to separate their toxic and non-toxic medical waste.
“The sanitation workers will collect the medical waste from the hospitals. The health institutions must proactively help us in waste segregation,” said Sarabagi.
There are two major hospitals—Narayani Hospital and National Medical College—and around a dozen private hospitals and polyclinics in Birgunj.
Dr Birendra Pradhan, the acting medical superintendent at Narayani Hospital, admits the hospital’s shortcomings in managing its medical waste.
“Waste management is a huge issue. But now with the metropolis’ initiative, we hope to bring an end to this problem,” he said.