Environment friendly: SEPA urges waste management in hospitals
HYDERABAD: Raising the ante against environment polluters, Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has urged hospitals to stop burning toxic waste in the open and discharging untreated waste water in the municipal drains. At a personal hearing by Sepa on Thursday, the representatives from around 27 government and private hospitals of Hyderabad division were directed to install solid and liquid waste treatment systems.
Sepa Hyderabad in-charge Muneer Ahmed Abbasi informed that the organisation’s director-general Naeem Ahmed Mughal gave hospitals 15 days to the submit their waste management plans. The plan must consist of waste separation, collection, transportation, storage, disposal and reuse. The Sepa has subdivided the hospitals’ waste in seven categories including risk, infectious, pathological, pharmaceutical, radioactive, sharps and non-risk waste.
“The agency has issued notices several times to the hospitals but no action has been taken by the hospitals so far,” said Abbasi. The [Jamshoro and Hyderabad] hospitals of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences as well as other hospitals discharge untreated waste water, which causes bacterial contamination and adversely effects the environment, he added. According to Section 8 of Sepa’s Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014, “… the risk waste should be inactivated or rendered safe before final disposal by a suitable thermal, chemical, irradiation incineration, filtration or other treatment method”.
The Section 12 of the rules calls for immunisation against Hepatitis B of all employees responsible for managing of hospital waste. The rules further elaborate disposal of pathological, infectious, pharmaceutical and genotoxic waste through incineration or deep burial while the remaining have to be dumped in a landfill.